Monday, 23 April 2012

A. David MacKinnon: "The Past is a Foreign Country"

Its always interesting to look at how jazz has influenced other genres in the western musical tradition. We've discussed how jazz has been fused with prog rock, funk, and even classical music. However, these days, jazz can be heard in more contemporary genres such as hiphop, electronic, and indie music. But what exactly is indie music? Well firstly, indie stands for independent. That is, the music is produced independently from major commercial record labels or their subsidiaries. However, these days, there is a ton of music from all genres that are produced independently. So where did this "indie genre" come from?  There is no definitive answer to this. Though, many believe that the "indie genre" was created through the sound of popular indie bands. Many Canadian bands, such as The Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, and The FemBots, were paramount in creating this "indie" sound. As usual, were going to show you how this "indie sound" is fused with jazz by way of an example. A. David MacKinnon is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, and sound engineering who rose to popularity through his membership in The FemBots. His latest release, "The Past is a Foreign Country", is completely instrumental, for MacKinnon has retired from singing. He describes the album as "the soundtrack to a film that doesn't exist". However, keeping with the original FemBots sound, MacKinnon makes use of both traditional instruments and "junk instruments" (instrumental everyday items) in his compositions. Each one of his originals is completely unique in their own way, that is, there is no recurring theme heard over and over again throughout the record. Some songs to note on the album are "The Past is a Foreign Country" (title song), "March of the Hydro Towers", and "Gospel vs. Church". To conclude, MacKinnons release is absolutely fantastic. Not only does he capture the "indie sound", however he wonderfully makes use of traditional jazz influences in his compositions as well. We're very excited to see what's next for this talented artist. Take a listen to the album bellow!

Purchase: "The Past is a Foreign Country"

A. David MacKinnon

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