Artist: Alfa Mist
Year Of Release: 2019
Quality: FLAC (tracks)
02. Falling (feat. Kaya Thomas-Dyke)
04. Glad I Lived
05. Jjajja’s Screen
08. Door (feat. Jordan Rakei)
No point in checking if Alfa Mist has read all of Roland Barthes, the guru of structuralism… Behind his keyboards, the Brit designed his album Structuralism with a more modest objective: “I have been affected by my environment. My upbringing has shaped me in a way where I do not know how to communicate. Structuralism is about, “I am who I am” because of the structure of society I grew up into. Now I need to learn how to communicate.” What Alfa Mist communicates very well with his second album is an innate sense of soft groove and a vital need for exchange. Yet another proof of the strength of today’s British jazz scene, which flourishes in soul, funk and hip hop, the latter being the first chapter of the young musician’s saga.
After spending his days making beats for grime and rap prods, the Londoner discovers jazz through samples and decorates both J Dilla’s albums and those of Miles Davis and even Hans Zimmer-composed soundtracks, one of his great idols. Above all, Alfa Mist is self-taught and immersed in the world of piano and keyboards. With Structuralism, he draws, with the help of a Fender Rhodes and a classical piano, the contours of a melancholic and voluptuous soul jazz. An atmospheric groove under influenced by Herbie Hancock/Robert Glasper, which he sculpts with his collaborators Johnny Woodham the trumpeter, drummers Peter Adam Hill and Jamie Houghton, guitarist Jamie Leeming, bassists Kaya Thomas-Dyke and James Rudi Creswick, violinists Katie Neaves, Simmy Singh and Lucy Nolan and cellist Peggy Nolan, not forgetting Jordan Rakai on the song Door. All in all, this pastel-tinted score (no slapped bass or double drums for Alfa Mist!) confirms the talents of a musician that’s certainly one to watch.