Review: Kobol – Extempore

Kobol’s 2005 debut drew comparisons with the likes of Skalpel and Jaga Jazzist thanks to its fusion of jazz and electronica music. This Mexican-born but LA-based duo now return with the follow-up ‘Extempore’ and although it’s half-based on remixes, it shows the strength in Kobol’s development, moving from above-average background music to song-based structures and multi-layered instrumentals.

Kobol CD Cover

On the remixes, ‘Pepito’ by The Dogs features some cracking percussion and warm atmospherics, Murcof’s ‘Urano’ led me to believe that it was going to build into the theme of ‘The Third Man’ at any time whilst a reworking of Kampion’s ‘Dreamy Snapshot’ uncovers several levels of menace. Pleasingly it’s the new tracks which are even more impressive. ‘Submarino’ is fluid, rhythmic and Latin-inflected rather like Mice Parade, ‘Blue Like You’, assisted by the heart-wrenching vocals of Emma Ejwertz, is dreamily atmospheric and the finale ‘Tanque’ has enough key changes and swing to keep the most challenging of modern jazz fans interested.  No doubt about it, ‘Extempore’ is a major step forward for Kobol as both producers and songwriters.

Web Sites:
Kobol’s Official Site
Kobol MySpace

Further Listening:
Mice Parade, Skalpel, Jaga Jazzist

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