Silvan Strauß – FACING (2022)

Silvan Strauß - FACING (2022)
Artist: Silvan Strauß
Label: Kabul Fire Records
Year Of Release: 2022
Format: FLAC (tracks)
01. THE SNAKE (01:17)
02. BUBBA (02:02)
03. THE GOOD HOUSE (02:31)
05. SHADES (02:03)
06. EYES (02:19)
07. TEETH (02:49)
08. GARDEN (01:52)
09. DRIVER (02:05)
10. STORKS (02:24)


Hamburg-based drummer/composer, Silvan Strauss flips crunchy Madlib-soaked beats with hazed-out contemporary jazz on debut album Facing, forthcoming on artist/producer Farhot’s label, Kabul Fire this November 2022.

Featuring UK jazz luminary, Joe Armon-Jones (Ezra Collective, Nubya Garcia) and a medley of Hamburg’s most exciting new jazz talent, Strauss’s Facing connects the dots between Badbadnotgood, Yussef Dayes and Kiefer across ten finessed, lo-fi beatscapes and experimental, jazz rooted electronic

Raised on a diet of German radio big bands, punk rock and classic golden-age hip-hop albums, Strauss’s journey from budding session drummer to the latest newcomer into a thriving, global roster of jazz agitators is one of discovery and community. Born in Kempten, southern Germany, Strauss as a toddler played drums on anything he could get his hands on. In between rehearsals with the Bavarian State Youth Jazz Orchestra, Strauss would make beats, jumping between punk and hip-hop bands at school up until graduation, before moving north to study at Hamburg’s University of Music. Regular stints as a sideman performing with Portuguese vocalist Maria João and trombonist Nils Landgren soon followed (continuing to this day), and alongside his work in jazz/neo-soul quartet ToyToy, it was his immersion in Hamburg’s live music circuit that led him to being voted 2021 Hamburg Jazz Prize winner, a prestigious accolade in the city awarded by fellow musicians, laying the brickwork for Strauss’s debut collection.

Searching for a creative spark during lockdown, Strauss compiled an archive of 2-3min drum takes recorded from his home studio, embracing his love of Brazilian MPB, Herbie Hancock, Mel Lewis and Chris Dave and The Drumhedz, before sending the drum stems to friends, close collaborators and instrumentalists to experiment and riff over, unlocking a method that fused Strauss’s love of lo-fi beats aesthetics and jazz/live arranging. Some back and forth between its total of fifteen musicians/collaborators and executive curation from fellow Hamburg-based creator/producer and label founder, Farhot, and Facing was born.

“Recording two tracks with Farhot on his Kabul Fire Vol.2 album was a spark for me. Seeing him use live drums but bringing them into his beat world was inspiring. It clicked I can bring these two worlds together. I want to give people my drums and let people express themselves. Two things I love to do is play drums and connect people. That’s what I do and what I want to do my whole life”

Grizzly, distorted synths reminiscent of early Floating Points 12”s open proceedings on The Snake, its pre-quantized snare slap could cut metal, whilst the drum and bass-infused Bubba saunters across dancehall rhythms and jazz virtuosity tipping its hat to UK counterparts, Moses Boyd and Yussef Dayes. On album first single, Strauss’s classic 90s hip-hop beat signposts dub reggae studio processing, and New York-inspired, Gil Evans-esque frontline horns, arranged by flautist/ tenor saxophonist Adrian Hanack, and featuring UK trumpeter Percy Pursglo

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