I have a soft spot for retro eighties synth wave music, and tonight, Jazzykat delivers in thumping fours on the floor percussion with all the right flavors of pads and leads. The electronic strings, cut with precise lines of evilness bass arpeggio bring about another level of high energy aural entertainment. I am very fond of the transitions in this album.
I feel a strong sense of passion in the keys and melodies used, but it’s not overkill. It’s enough to keep a party going until morning, rather. The use of octave differences makes for a potent melodic impact that keeps the vibe going through phases and songs that compliment each other perfectly, to weave a wordless narrative that will keep the listener engaged and then some.
The contrasts and sweeps build into quite the anticipation a few songs in, as the changes in leads keep things ethereal enough to relax, but the implementation of break beats keep things rhythmically satisfying enough to make the album appropriate for various contexts. The Low Frequency Oscillator is done justice in a subtle uplifting correctness of dance floor notoriety.
I am even pleased with the use of vintage electric toms (a rarity for your humble author!) . I am really enjoying the ebbs and flows of this work. The melodies are tight, and nothing is left to the imagination. Every patch makes a statement. If the mood strikes for something that is not overly emotive, but still potent enough to pull those neon heart strings, look no further.
Jazzykat is definitely an artist worth checking out. I am psyched to hear what will come next, as for with each song, boundaries are subtly and amiably pushed!
JC Luff – #WEATNU Digital Magazine – November 2019
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In 1984, the group’s pioneering piece of synth pop, entitled ‘West End Girls’ thought of as their very best. The Pet Shop Boys’ dark track was influenced by hip hop music and a TS Elliot poem, describing the pressures of inner-city life.
The Pet Shop Boys’ second UK hit, ‘It’s A Sin’, depicts their time at the Catholic St. Cuthbert’s High School in Newcastle. The song was written in 15 minutes, and was intended as a camp joke, but people consciously took very serious. I remember hearing the song for the first time, “how powerful” I thought, it moved me, hearing the clarity in his voice and how serious this was to him. The interesting thing about the song was, the local parish priest in Newcastle delivered a sermon on it, reflecting how the Church changed from the promise of a ghastly hell to the message of love.
In 1987. The synth pop duo covered “Always on My Mind”, a TV special marking 10 years since the King passed away. They decided to release it as a single, and it became that year’s Christmas number one.
Their ‘Actually’ album (What Have I Done to Deserve This?) track was accompanied by Dusty Springfield (60’s soul legend), and it was a number two hit in the UK and US, riding close behind Rick Astley and George Michael’s top spots.
In 1992, Derek Jarman asked them to perform at a charity event in Manchester. ‘Go West’ a disco hit was selected and later, the two decided to record it as a single, and it was a huge hit.
During the duo’s early years, they wrote ‘Opportunities’ describing “two losers” and it is based around the quote “Let’s make lots of money”. Somehow, it is written about himself as being intellectual and educated.
Neil Tennant said he imagined this song “Rent” as being about a kept woman, living in America. The song also deals with a financially one-sided relationship, kept as a kind of secret..
The song, “Being Boring” came from the accusation after someone said the duo was being boring. The duo described it as “one of the best songs that we’ve written. It’s tells of our teenage years and how we moved to London, and I became successful and my friend became ill.”
‘Release’, the duo’s 2002 album gave them another top hit, despite it bizarre music video, showing mice running across tracks and eating discarded food at a Court Road Underground station, with only minimal shops of the duo. Never accuse them of being boring.
Their 1988 album, ‘Introspective’ produced this song influenced by Latin pop and also by the song ‘Elle est comme les etoiles’ by Desireless.
For over 4 years Jazzykat has been an Electronic Musician and when I listen to her Music, I can definitely feel the Deep House, Chill-out Vibe that beats in her Heart. I took the time to truly appreciate some of Jazzykat’s earlier Releases and enjoyed listening to them greatly; but her latest, ‘Action Reaction’ (A-B Side Single) gets even better and these tracks are smooth as a dish of soft-serve Ice Cream! This new Weatnu Records release, by Jazzykat, is fully instrumental and from my listening experience, the music speaks very well for itself. She is masterful in evoking musical imagery through her expression and to my ears, any vocals here would be extraneous. Firstly, The A-Side, part of the single is, ‘Action Reaction,’ which appealed to me immediately as something I’d want to hear when I’m just warming up or just winding down. While ‘Action Reaction’ may make the moment mellow it certainly won’t put you to sleep! Driven by a subdued beat, Jazzykat hits you with an outstanding, (whether by accident or design), NuDisco Lead Guitar Homage to the early 80’s Disco and Michael Jackson “Thriller” Era! Accompanying the Lead Guitar Riff on Track 1 is one unabashedly, phatty Synth Oscillator that sounds a little like a Tuba Player intermittently pumping in bright kinetic energy relentlessly pushing the music forward. Which not only reinforces the beat, but I also perceived how this Brassy Oscillator counterpoised the Keyboards. While by no means the equivalent of a Brass Band, I have to say it seriously reminded me of what a killer horn section can do for any song. Jazzykat’s Bass Guitar is steeped in soulful Tremolos which gently soothed the energy of Side – A: Action Reaction creating a regulated temperature and mood. What really made side-a gel is the Artist’s drawn out Synth Pads whereby she calls forth ’80’s memories and Mr. Fingers’ Feel for Deep House! Flipping over to ‘Action Reaction’s B-Side, is Track 2, ‘Bad Dreams’. Here, Jazzykat lays down a bold Bass and Congas beat, while Doppler-like Synths zip, like traffic rushing by. Just when you’d think this makes for some grinding House. Jazzykat cleverly experiments with the Pregnant Pause to suspend the Listener and delve into Dark Ambiance! She then playfully tickles the Ivories for good measure before reengaging the rhythm. ‘Bad Dreams’ uses those previously mentioned auditory traffic cues to segue as the Listener floats through the ether from one sonic scene of a dream to another, randomly throughout the song. The Atmosphere created by ‘Action Reaction’ becomes the perfect Climate of Grooves and Beats with some cool Drift. Further, Action Reaction, by Jazzkat, can tune you into a vibrant ambiance for your kicked-back hideaway. Need a moment to break away from the pulsating whirligig and pounding madness of Work and Night-life? Seize that moment where you can be laid-back and Chill with, ‘Action Reaction’ (A-B Side Single) by Jazzykat only on Weatnu Records.
“Jazzykat’s world of music is infused with multi-genres, electronica, experimental, soul, chillout and synthpop. Her wide range of ‘eclectic moods’ come together to form the sound that we have been hearing for many months on WEATNU [OUR]. Along with her career as a solo musician, it was finally time to bring her words in text-form to the light here on #WEATNU DM.”
Corbin: First and foremost I would like to thank you for taking the time to let me interview you Kathryn.
Jazzy: It’s my pleasure.
Corbin: I understand you have a new album coming out. What is the name going to be?
Jazzy: World Upside Down
Corbin: I’ve grown accustomed to you innovative style. Is this album jumping these boundaries?
Jazzy: I made an album a while back named Eclectic Moods, and that pretty much sums up what to expect from me each time I release something new. Each song will always be different, I keep the music interesting that way.
Corbin: Since listening to your interview with Almark, I have been wondering when we may hear some Jazzy vocals?
Jazzy: If you mean will I ever sing on a song? No, I don’t foresee that happening. I put so much thought and feeling in each song, I just don’t feel the need to sing. I can sing but even if I’m listening to Electronic music in private, I prefer instrumentals.
Corbin: Not even a little vocoder?
Jazzy: I’ve never used one. I’m afraid you’ll have to settle for the versatility of my songs. I will say that this new album has four new songs and six singles. I have wandered into some new territories in each song, such as, Nu Disco, New Wave, Electronica and Techno. I do remember a song called Sunset Bay I made years ago, and I introduced the song in a sultry ladies DJ voice, resembling The Fog movie.
Corbin: If you could come across a link for that, what a treat to hear your voice!
Jazzy: I’ll get with Almark, see what we can do. Didn’t you hear me speaking in the interview with him?
Corbin: Of course! That’s what spawned the question.
Jazzy: Oh, you liked that hummm I do have an Oklahoma accent.
Corbin: Accents help to build character across the microphone. Being from the South myself I often wonder if it comes across in my own vocals. Your voice is also quite unique.
Jazzy: In my younger days I played piano bars all over Tulsa, played at the Camelot Inn for several years, singing some of the songs that people requested, and I did enjoy singing.
Corbin: So what changed?
Jazzy: I found Electronic Music and fell in love because it came at a time when there was a lull in good music. I was burned out on classic rock and Synthpop had dissolved so when I first heard Moby, Dzihan and Kamien, The Dining Rooms, Thievery Corporation, I knew that I wanted to do what they were doing. Actually, my son encouraged me because of my musical ability and although I was new to computers, I began to play around with Ableton. Learned it very easily and went on from there.
Corbin: The first time I heard Porcelian by Moby I was in awe! It really changed my outlook on the whole band scene. Since your last voiceÂ interview with WEATNU you have been quite busy and even started your own Chillout/Electronic group on Facebook. What started this ball rolling?
Jazzy: Because I know how it feels to have an all consuming fire inside to be really good at Electronic music, practice makes perfect and although I don’t need stardom, a few fans would be nice. I wanted Electronic musicians to feel important and I know how it feels to be totally ignored after you have spent months working on a project that you think is YOU. I can’t be someone else because of my deep seeded desire to make good music and besides, if I never make a dime, it’s a challenge and it’s fun to hear the end product. Our motto in The Electronic/Chillout Musician’s Circle came from my heart to every musician that I have in my Circle “Everyone needs praise – it keeps us motivated.” I belong to twelve musical groups and none of them do promotion like I do in the Circle. They need to want to be in the Circle and mostly they just want to be HEARD.
Corbin: Your member numbers are growing astronomically, care to comment on this feat?
Jazzy: I’ve noticed that too, I guess I would have to say “word of mouth,” some of the musicians, especially the ones in Europe must be trying to make the Circle a “household word,” that’s okay.
Corbin: Very much so! Does it encompass a lot of your time to oversee this group?
Jazzy: I have made an organized system so I can keep track of theirÂ names, the songs that person uploads, the albums, the videos and the links they have included so I can refer the public to their outside music.
Corbin: I often wonder what artists do for work, as it subconsciously fuels their creative essence. I am an auto technician by day, what is your livelihood?
Jazzy: I am a retired legal secretary and musician.
Corbin: So with the new album almost complete, aside from its promotion what is the next move for Jazzykat?
Jazzy: Let me offer you some information about my musical endeavors. I have made five albums and one EP through Weatnu and in answer to your question I will continue to make Electronic music and learn and use new genres in my albums and singles. On albums such as, Vanilla Crunch, and Think about your Future on Weatnu Records.
Corbin: Very good! Keep them coming. I read your article on Thom Yorke here in #WEATNU Digital Magazine. Are you going to be writing some more articles in the near future? How about any collaborations coming up?
Jazzy: Yes, indeed, I really enjoy doing those articles. I will be doing new articles about Electronic Pioneers and I have been debating about something new in the magazine, I think I will also start a new article regarding 80’s Synthpop Superstars, that should be interesting. Since the ever popular Glory Be, we’ll call it, I haven’t given it much thought. With the Circle promotions and making new music I probably wouldn’t have time.
Corbin: Yes MDS is a super huge project!! Do you think the Chillout/Electronic group will get together for something like that venture?
Jazzy: We are so new, it’s really hard to say right now.
Corbin: I listen to everything WEATNU had to offer as a moderator for our soundcloud account. When I play your music at work, people instantly turn their heads, and yet there are vocals to speak of. What you bring to the WEATNU movement is quite unique. Do you feel that your music influences others or is it your persona? Or both?
Jazzy: All I do is pour out the beats I love, the percussion, which gives that song an edge of surprise, or whatever you indeed want the song to sound like. The chords you play, the sequences are very important while keeping it lively. The kick is a vital important asset today and the melodies are just as important. I really want people to enjoy my music and hopefully they feel that desire when they hear them…I hope so! When I begin a new song, it must be different, in most respects, a catchy bass intro, merging with a good-sounding kick, maybe some fx and go from there, as they say, “it’s your thing….do what you wanna do.”
Corbin: Great reference! Your albums are such an “easy listen” not to be confused with the genre “easy listening”. I put on Bufinger‘s album and had an entire dashboard and heater core out of a vehicle in 2 hours. I’m listening to you now and taking my time with a rather large job I’m doing now. I don’t have to change the channel or turn it down as people come by trying to communicate with me. That is something very unique about your music, its flow and architecture. Care to elaborate?
Jazzy: I would really like to try something heavier, but so far the song Eccentric Minds is probably the heaviest I have done. In fact, I have included it in the new album. In answer to your last question, I will say that has to do with Almark’s mastering. He’s very particular about the audio sound in the music he is working on.
Corbin: Your songs seem to cover a wide range of musical influences. Are there a couple of genres in particular that you feel have shaped the course of your music career?
Jazzy: In the sixties, R&B, Pop, Funk, Soul and Jazz. The seventies had Marvin Gaye, Huey Lewis, The GAP Band from Tulsa, James Brown, The Doobies and The Commodores. Jazz was still popular with Dave Brubeck and others. Hall & Oates, Led Zeppelin and Disco were popular, and there was a huge variety of genres to choose from. I liked all of these. I guess my music has been influenced by all these genres and now they are mixed with Electronic, Experimental, Dance, Techno, and now NewWave, NuDisco and Electronica.
Corbin: Besides your DAW of choice, what other instruments do you use regularly in your recordings?
Jazzy: Along with Ableton, I use an Axiom Air MIDI Keyboard with Nexus software which gives me a wide variety of beats, pads and instruments, such as piano, bass and drum pads, mixed in with fx sounds. I am now composing new songs with more keyboard beats, and melodies. I also play the accordian and the ukelele, haha just kidding.
Corbin: I must say Kathryn it has been a real pleasure being able to get a better understanding on what makes your music so unique. Is there anything else you would care to comment on?
Jazzy: Please buy my new album. That’s It! Thanks Corbin for your support.
Jazzykat lets a little sunshine into these bleak, wintry days in Northern England with her new ep ‘Think About your Future’.
No disappointment on this release, all Kat’s traits are intact: the smoky jazz inflections, the house beats, her pure sense of melody and those pristine synth textures.
Opening with the titular track, an almost Plastikman sparseness takes our dancing bones and rattles them into life, before the strident piano vamping and those typical JK synth lines take sinewy control. The bass-dominant ‘Main Street’ is in Orbital territory circa the classic Brown Album era. My body is flung into hedonistic orgiastic delight, with my head reeling from the nostalgia and thrills of discovering new sounds. Surely that’s impossible.
Hell no, JK is a expert at touching on the past and making it fresh, always “thinking about the future”. This is jazzhop (for want of a better term), of the finest ilk. And even when you can’t imagining it getting better, it fricking does, ending on the ep high of ‘Next Exit’.
Stripped back of all gimmicks and frills, ‘Think about your future’ re-tools and re-imagines all the tropes of modern dance musik (Italian House, techno, electronica) and re-invigorates this jaded listener and non-dancing wallflower into wanton toe tapping abandon. I forget myself.
Dance, Under-grounders, dance. Dance yourself back to the future. Knock yourselves out.