Sometimes you listen to an artist and feel that you are listening to a sort of encyclopaedia of sounds. That’s what it’s like with Alfa Mist, who always seems to give us a general compendium of black music, never didactic but always with an openminded vision that ranges from jazz to hip hop, without ever forgetting his past as a grime producer. And he does it in the blackest and most contemporary way there is: not a simple succession of tracks, each of a different genre, but the combination of so many different elements that they result in something unique – and multifaceted.
Not convinced? Just play “Antiphon”, his 2017 debut and the track that brought him to the fore; after an opening worthy of Miles Davis’s first electric period, the album begins to unfold in a perfectly calibrated mix of soul, hip-hop, funk and jazz, packed with beats and samples. And it is the contaminated jazz, so prone to experimentation, that emerges above everything else by far. An album by Alfa Mist (the new album, “Structuralism”, is out at the end of April for Sekito) is jazz 3.0: vibrations worthy of a classic Blue Note show updated with an incredibly new and fresh sound that doesn’t deny tradition.
It can’t be a coincidence that the area Alfa Mist comes from – Newham, in deep East London – is historically linked to a musical culture where digging and sampling is a mantra. This unmissable live tonight will offer you both the glow of a star of the new jazz scene and the darker atmosphere of his city and deep roots.
Written by Mimmo De Musso