Jazzy electronic music recommendations?
July 24, 2007 12:48 PM   Subscribe

Jazzy electronic music recommendations? I'm thinking of Squarepusher, some Tortoise, etc.

I realize asking for "jazzy" music can mean a lot of things, many of them not at all what I'm looking for. So what I'm after is good quality music with small, jazz-style acoustic drums (or at least small, jazz-style acoustic drum loops ;) ) and an overall electronic feel. An electric bass and/or keys (e.g. organ, Rhodes) is a plus.

I was listening to Squarepusher's latest this weekend, and found myself really digging some of the stuff he's done in this vein. I don't have the album in front of me now, so I hope it's clear which tracks I'm talking about. Tortoise also approaches this sound occasionally from the other direction, when they've added a lot of swashes and what have you.

Anyway, obviously these are two examples of very good artists, but I wonder if there's anything else out there with a similar feel. I'm trying to avoid simple, reductive downtempo/lounge stuff, because I'm looking for music with more of a concise song structure that would fit on an LP rather than in a SomaFM mix (simply because I can usually fill my appetite for that sort of stuff with SomaFM...).
posted by electric_counterpoint to Media & Arts (48 answers total) 55 users marked this as a favorite
I too love this stuff. Check out The Cinematic Orchestra.
posted by marionnette en chaussette at 12:59 PM on July 24, 2007

Mr. Scruff?
posted by thirteenkiller at 1:01 PM on July 24, 2007

I listen to a lot of Tortoise, and I also love the Cinematic Orchestra, along with Amon Tobin, Boards of Canada, Do Make Say Think & St. Germain... maybe worth a try. I don't know any Squarepusher, but I find Last.fm comes very much in handy for finding similar stuff based on what other fans enjoy. There is a list of artists on the left of that link. Good luck!

on preview: Mr Scruff is awesome!
posted by Acey at 1:04 PM on July 24, 2007

shameless self promotion:

see the merge and kirs eps.


and maybe Plain and Mum.
posted by distrakted at 1:05 PM on July 24, 2007

oops: Plaid, not Plain
posted by distrakted at 1:07 PM on July 24, 2007

On a related note: Pandora as a tool might be more suited to your needs - they choose similar tracks based on what the music specifically sounds like, not who likes it. Just give thumbs up to the tracks with the qualities you like and you'll be on to winners before long.
posted by Acey at 1:09 PM on July 24, 2007

Squarepusher's track "Iambic 5 Poetry" off of the otherwise lukewarm Budakhan Mindphone EP is unbelievably good, if you haven't checked it out. I also remember his album Music Is Rotted One Note being very jazzy.
Also, try Andrew Coleman's Everything Was Beautiful, And Nothing Hurt.
posted by ambulance blues at 1:09 PM on July 24, 2007

DJ Spooky, Optometry?
Gotan Project.
Thievery Corporation (natch). "Mirror Conspiracy" is my favorite.
posted by nasreddin at 1:09 PM on July 24, 2007

Four Tet's Rounds is a good bet. The album is very free jazz-inspired (there's even a track on the album called As Serious As Your Life) and I get the impression that a lot of the drum samples come straight from jazz records. (Keiran Hebden - the real name of the guy behind Four Tet - has recently performed with Steve Reid.)
posted by aparrish at 1:14 PM on July 24, 2007

Response by poster: Wow! Thanks for all the suggestions so far! I'll be checking all this stuff out, but I can confirm my existing love for μZiq, Múm, DJ Spooky, and Thievery Corporation, though I've been meaning to check out more Spooky and Thievery, especially.
posted by electric_counterpoint at 1:17 PM on July 24, 2007

Yes! Four-motha-f-ing-Tet!
posted by mds35 at 1:18 PM on July 24, 2007

Truby Trio
Nightmares on Wax

Also 2nding Mr Scruff, Plaid, Boards of Canada, Thievery Corp.

Lamb too, if you can stand heavier drum n' bass.
posted by cowbellemoo at 1:19 PM on July 24, 2007

Just can't say enough about Bonobo. Been listening to Thievery for a decade and can't shut up about Bonobo now.

RJD2 too.

Ghod this is all fantastic music.
posted by cowbellemoo at 1:24 PM on July 24, 2007

Koop. (Waltz for Koop is a good album).
posted by JeremiahBritt at 1:25 PM on July 24, 2007

David Holmes is a modern jazz hero... think Oceans Eleven soundtrack
posted by Acey at 1:28 PM on July 24, 2007

cowbell... if you like Bonobo, Amon Tobin is a must. Jus' sayin.
posted by Acey at 1:29 PM on July 24, 2007

Actually, as in evidence by the other recommendations here, much of the ninjatunes label as a whole fits the bill.
posted by juv3nal at 1:33 PM on July 24, 2007

Four Tet is pretty good and in the vein you are after.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:35 PM on July 24, 2007

This might be a little too jazzy, but check out Medeski, Martin, and Wood, especially the album "End of the World Party."
posted by epimorph at 1:35 PM on July 24, 2007

Trans Am?
posted by SBMike at 1:36 PM on July 24, 2007

Kammerflimmer Kollektief...awesome stuff.
posted by Mmothra at 1:38 PM on July 24, 2007

Oh, yes, seconding Bonobo and Nightmares on Wax.

On the DnB angle, try Kruder & Dorfmeister.
posted by nasreddin at 1:42 PM on July 24, 2007

Herbert's Bodily Functions. Also, the band Battles reminds me a lot of Tortoise, though maybe in the opposite direction of what you like.
posted by Eringatang at 1:44 PM on July 24, 2007

Nightmares on Wax is more dub than jazz.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:51 PM on July 24, 2007

LTJ Bukem has a similar sound.
posted by ga$money at 2:03 PM on July 24, 2007

Oh, and on a more obscure front, KJ Sawka (a Seattle local) has been doing some really cool stuff lately. Slightly heavier, fuzzier sound... Amazing live drummer. You'd never be able to tell from his recordings because he's so fast, but he does all his drumwork live.
posted by ga$money at 2:07 PM on July 24, 2007

Naomi, Tosca, Landslide
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 2:09 PM on July 24, 2007

Definitely Amon Tobin. Get Supermodified. Also, maybe not exactly jazzy but Prefuse 73 is one of my favorites.
posted by inoculatedcities at 2:11 PM on July 24, 2007

Nookie, if you like jazzy drum+bass.

An artist i work with, Eldar, comes at your question from the opposite side, as he is a jazz artist with electronic flourishes. He's also a heck of a piano player.
posted by softlord at 2:14 PM on July 24, 2007

Maybe Zappa's "Jazz From Hell"?
posted by DarkForest at 2:18 PM on July 24, 2007

DJ Cam Mad Blunted Jazz might be up your alley. I also give a nod to Amon Tobin.
posted by bwilms at 2:34 PM on July 24, 2007

Goldie's Timeless album. Inner City Life is a given if you're a dnb person, but the other cuts on that album (Sea of Tears, etc) could satisfy your needs.

And of course if we're on jungle you can try LTJ Bukem, Klute, London Elektricity (liveish drums), High Contrast.

You can also try Tino - which is apparently this strange fictional Cuban guy who plays drums. Pretty much nothing but drum tracks.
posted by dihutenosa at 2:55 PM on July 24, 2007

Here's a few tracks to sample:

on the lake - triosk meets jan jelinek
All Around (Telefon Tel Aviv Mix) - Bebel Gilberto
Gemini Dub - J Boogie's Dubtronic Science
Easy Muffin - Amon Tobin
Dreams - Jeff Bennett's Lounge Experience
Sparks - Röyksopp
Gone (The Kruder & Dorfmeister Sessions) - David Holmes & Sarah Cracknell
Forest Crunk - Aesop Rock
Shonny - Chris Clark
reference - CiM
do tell featuring dose one - prefuse 73
personal discourse - Venetian Snares
posted by four panels at 3:00 PM on July 24, 2007

Jaga Jazzist (Check out this video: "Animal Chin")
posted by pfafflin at 3:07 PM on July 24, 2007

All my best suggestions have been taken! I'll second/third St. Germain, Bonobo, Mr Scruff, Quantic, Skalpel, Koop...

Also try Bobby Hughes Combination and Nicola Conte.
posted by kepano at 3:20 PM on July 24, 2007

An electric bass and/or keys (e.g. organ, Rhodes) is a plus.

Medeski Martin and Wood's Combustication instantly sprang to mind, to sorta-second epimorph.
posted by Benjy at 3:24 PM on July 24, 2007

Oh, and
Heavy Petting - Red Snapper
Bussing - Red Snapper
posted by four panels at 4:01 PM on July 24, 2007

Definitely check out Flanger (Templates, Midnight Sound, Inner Spacesuit). Very jazzy, quirky, live-drum/keyboard sound, yet filled with glitchy, wanky electronic noises.
posted by distant figures at 5:18 PM on July 24, 2007

i have totally been grooving on Laika (not Laika and the cosmonauts)--especially good looking blues and sounds of the satellites.

MC 900 ft jesus, especially his second two disks, has a strong jazz influence.

Amon Tobin is good ... but his best jazzy work was done under the name Cujo, called 'Adventures in Foam.'

I bought a Ninja Tune compilation via ebay a while ago called Earthrise. It has quite a few good tracks on it. the seller included a cdr of an Organic Records sampler called Psymediation. i was totally blown away by it's smooth jazzy electronica.

this shadow compilation, Blunted 2 is full of what you are asking for. hope you can find it for less then the suggested price of 45 pounds (!) the first one in the series is good, too, but not as jazzy electronic as the first. in fact, the whole shadow catalog has a lot of really good things in it.

Swoon's Milk is also a great example of this sound.

i second many other suggestions: especially tosca and the the dj cam disk mad blunted jazz. i would not recommend most Amon Tobin, other then the Cujo disk cited above, as that sound tends to be a bit busy. if there would be any other Amon I'd recommend, it would be Chomp Samba and Pharana Breaks.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 7:38 PM on July 24, 2007

You need to check out www.liveplasma.com .
posted by intermod at 10:05 PM on July 24, 2007

In a similar vein to some of the artists others have suggested you might try:

Blue States

posted by Ness at 7:02 AM on July 25, 2007

In case you don't have it already, Squarepusher's Hard Normal Daddy is very similar.

You might like DJ Logic too.
posted by zebra3 at 8:40 AM on July 25, 2007

'70s Miles Davis? (check out He Loved Him Madly off of Get Up With It - pretty great track). Herbie Hancock? Might as well go with the originals, as far as I'm concerned.
posted by mike_bling at 12:02 PM on July 25, 2007

If you end up digging Four Tet, check out Caribou (formerly Manitoba).

If you like Amon Tobin, check out his first album under the name Cujo, it's called Adventures in Foam.

If you like Plaid, check out Metamatics and Two Lone Swordsmen.
posted by feloniousmonk at 10:13 PM on July 25, 2007

Try Huvafen Fushi Maldives, by Ravin. It's more in the Buddha Bar vein (sort of electro-middle-eastern/arabian with heavy bass), but it might float your boat.

You can listen here.
posted by flutable at 1:14 AM on July 26, 2007

Jazzanova, Funki Porciini
Some jazz with electronics: Weather Report, Zawinul, M-base Collective
posted by euphotic at 12:49 AM on July 27, 2007

Yesterday's New Quintet is madlib pretending to sample classic soul/funk jazz albums while (for the most part) actually playing and composing the music himself. YNQ's latest, Yesterday's Universe, is pretty spectacular through and through. Angles Without Edges, Stevie (a tribute to Stevie Wonder's music), and Sound Directions: The Funky Side of Life are all excellent as well. While the drums are more along the lines of hip hop beats than jazz drumming, the Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer are always in full effect. madlib also did an album under his 'madlib' persona called Shades of Blue. He was given access to the Blue Note archives and remixed a bunch of classic jazz tracks.

To swing in the opposite direction and recommend something that's serious about the jazz drumming (and jazz guitar), check out later Karate stuff and/or Geoff Farina side projects. Karate's Live at Barchessone Vecchio is sublime, if you can find it. The Farina, Dan Littleton, and Luther Gray project called New Salt is also very good, if closer to straight jazz than maybe you're looking for.

I also suggest you check out the rest of John McEntire's career. He's produced and recorded quite a bit of music, all of it at least tangentially related to his work with Tortoise. Also, if you manage to check out Jim O'Rourke as a result of poking around McEntire's work, all the better.
posted by carsonb at 6:17 AM on July 31, 2007

If you like LTJ Bukem, which is jazzy/atmospheric d'n'b, you may also like Makoto, who's on Bukem's label.
posted by gen at 7:21 AM on September 6, 2007

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