Today’s goodness come from the Figure & Ground label out of Brooklyn. It will be the tenth release for the label and features Miles Francis & Jas Walton. The release is a follow up to 2016’s Explorations in Drums & Sax also out the label as well. Basement Tape sees longtime friends and collaborators Francis and Walton (former members of Antibalas and founders of New York City based EMFE), who started to experiment in Miles’ basement in 2015, release an eight-song journey that draws influence from the recently passed drummer Tony Allen as well as the many different music projects they were involved in rehearsing around the city. They were also influenced by comedic improv, which showed them to not overthink and be open to ideas, don’t say no, just roll with it, don’t overthink. It’s evident that’s what was going on as we’re introduced to the first digital single from the tap “Ruffing It”.
It’s like taking one element you would hear in a Talking Heads song, freezing it and elongating it, and then diving into that. Instead of just popping over to the next idea, we stay there and explore, savoring every little morsel of what a composition or what a song could be.
Starting off with a funky sax stab and a lo-fi backbeat, the track builds with more saxophone before the groove gets into full swing and various percussion lead the way through the remainder of the track. A short break ensues and another groove kicks in, with keyboard in tow. The direction shifts sonically, but it gives the listener time to get their head nodding and shoulders moving before it just goes all out. Quite a build-up and finish for this track and another winner for the Figure & Ground label. This release comes in a limited edition of 100 with a green cassette and a hand printed J-card by Adrian Patino at Barrio Print. Listen to the track below.