Chat Noir :: Elec3Cities (RareNoise)

There’s no doubt every seeker of adventurous jazz should explore this trio’s music, and Elec3Cities can be a wonderful starting point. Chat Noir’s wildest and boldest effort yet.

With Elec3Cities RareNoise not only supplied me with lovely music, it also introduced me to a great trio I haven’t heard of before. Considering my taste in music, relentless urge to find exciting sonic worlds, and constant search for them, I’m surprised I haven’t heard of Chat Noir before. Elec3Cities is the Italian trio’s first album for the excellent London-based RareNoise label and fifth in total. It quickly made me check out some tunes from the trio’s back catalog, and that action confirmed my suspicion: Chat Noir’s previous albums worth an in-depth check. Something tells me I would like to own a couple in the future. There’s no doubt every seeker of adventurous jazz should explore this trio’s music, and Elec3Cities can be a wonderful starting point.

Surprisingly, even though Elec3Cities is Chat Noir’s wildest and boldest effort yet, it works perfectly as an introduction to the trio’s sound, style and spirit. It ignites interest in the listener from the very first second. The sound is provocatively gritty, and the movement is edgy. Each track morphs in the most mesmerizing way. Jazz, prog, classical, electronic and middle-eastern shades undulate together tightly and mysteriously but always with enough space and clarity between the layers so the listener could dive in and feel every note, twist and texture.

During the making of the album each member of the trio was in a different city, so they used a cloud-based system to exchange music sessions between Boston, Berlin and Rome. This way of operating allowed the three to expand and spice up their musical world more than usual, as bassist Luca Fogagnolo explains on the press release: “although the album is based on the usual three pillars—piano, bass and drums—the novel recording approach allowed us to have more time to devote to paying attention to small details. We could experiment a lot more in the post-production phase to manipulate the sounds and tracks.”

Thanks to its eclectic nature, Elec3Cities has the potential to resonate with fans of groups such as e.s.t., The Bad Plus, Jaga Jazzist and Gogo Penguin, but also with fans of Massive Attack, and even with lovers of Juno Reactor and early Shpongle materials. Fans of Einaudi will also find plenty to love about it. With all that said, it’s important to state that there are no imitations here. Chat Noir’s sound and style are distinctive and original. Hopefully, Elec3Cities will pave the way for this creative trio to more international exposure. Chat Noir is definitely one of the most refreshing forces in the current European new jazz/modern hybrid music movement.

Elec3Cities is available on RareNoise.

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1 Comment

  1. Great review, thank you!

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