Minimal house royalty Cobblestone Jazz have kicked off a new series of 12”s, their first material since stellar 2010 album Modern Deep Left Quartet. Memories (From Where You Are) sees the collective return to old stomping ground Wagon Repair–home of other minimal stalwarts like Deadbeat and label founder Matthew Jonson. The tracks on offer prove that Cobblestone still have plenty of tricks up their sleeve.
Pt. 1 has plenty of Cobblestone’s signature lounge jazz style about it, with smooth pads and an echoing vocal sample providing an initially inviting background for driving rhythms to bounce over, before the entire atmosphere becomes more sinister and intense toward the close. Pt. 2 is immediately colder and darker, the cool, languid ambiance of Pt. 1 replaced by minimalist tones and an incessant squelching synth. The vocals too are distorted and drawn out, transitioning from blurred but benevolent to blurred and unsettling.
The effect these two tracks have is that of meshing disparate elements from the group’s musical past, warping their old pure jazz house sensibilities into something altogether more modern. If the rest of this series sees Cobblestone Jazz pursuing this idea, this subtle subversion of their former styles, then they could be very special indeed.