If there was a prize for Manchester’s most Balearic human being then Jason Boardman would be at the top of my tips. The Aficionado main man – together with the equally Eivissa -ian Richard Bithell – has been upholding the values of quality underground music for many moons now – integrity, passion, belief, music as a healing force – these are the watchwords on Jason’s tune-based travels, and they’re pretty much all you need. Capiche?¿Entiende usted?
After a good few years ruminating about starting his own label, Before I Die (geddit?) now announces itself to the world by signing up the also rather wonderful Tungusku for a cracking five tracker. An E.P. that says summer’s on the way, get yer shorts on and yer ya yas out…or words to that effect. Its subtle, groovesome, beautifully balanced: think Steve Cobby meets a chunkier Steely Dan and you’re not far off.
Opener, Shorts Weather (yeah!) sets the scene perfectly: a lithe guitar figure leaps out, vaulting through the gate marked ‘souljazz’, backed up by some seriously funky drumming – these guys are cooking on the fumes of Grant Green and Jimmy Smith, tweaked and phreaked with a neat modern touch. Ace!
Catch A Fly stalks similar thematic grounds: tumbling guitar phrases duel with a lovely elasticated bassline – with plenty of space in the grooves – and time for the musicians to sit back, and gather their thoughts. Hone in, before a solo guitar adds a cosmic touch at the three minute mark. Nothing extraneous, nothing wasted, just a rollicking tune laid down expertly. Skills galore from the guys.
They can dial it down too, as Reverie coasts in on nostalgic memories, and misty-eyed remembrances of love gone wrong. Again, they keep things compact. Three and a half minutes being all you need to mend a broken heart (that’s official). The artwork is great, the music is great, the concept is thought through and robust. Tungusku and Before I Die have got off to an absolutely cracking start. The vinyl won’t last long. Do yourself a stone cold flavour favour and hop on board.
Tungusku`s Direction Of Travel is due in stores on April 25th, care of Before I Die.