artwork by Jack Dylan Smith
UK jazz trio MLN Ensemble present their debut EP "Kuzushi"
Named after the Japanese martial arts concept of "pushing and pulling to off-balance your opponent", MLN Ensemble presents a four track EP of boundary-pushing sounds and hard-hitting grooves.The trio's sound is influenced by jazztronica pioneers such as Sungazer and Brad Mehldau, as well as EDM and UK hip hop. Composed in 19 Equal Temperament rather than traditional diatonic harmony, each track features a guest appearance - British jazz stalwarts David Preston (guitar) and Laurie Lowe (drums), South African saxophonist Joe Penn and rising hip hop talent Eyeconic. The EP was produced by Patrick Phillips of Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios, who lent an insightful ear to the creative process.
Originally starting life in 2019 as a function band, founding members Stephanos Karageorgi (keyboard), Mateusz Gocek (bass) and Jamie Parker (drums) began writing and recording as soon as live music began to regain momentum post-Covid. As hosts of the Catch 22 Jams monthly jazz night (High Wycombe), and supporting the likes of Emma Rawicz and Jamiroquai's Matt Johnson at Wycombe Jazz Festival, the trio have quickly gained experience in putting on an energetic, engaging live show that seeks to make experimental music accessible to all.
To facilitate performing in 19 Equal Temperament, the band needed a keyboard that would allow for playing more notes than are available in the traditional 12-tone Western scale. While it is not the first keyboard to attempt this, bassist Mateusz took it upon himself to design and build a bespoke MIDI controller that would allow for fluency and spontaneity in such a challenging harmonic setting. Thus, the Monomorph was born - see the gallery for pictures.
Track by Track
Featuring Joe Penn on saxophone. A pulsing, EDM-influenced soundscape
Featuring David Preston on guitar, delivering a whirlwind of Frank Gambale-style fusion phrasing
Featuring Laurie Lowe on drums, driving the track with a relentless groove and a flourishing masterclass in rhythm
Featuring Polish-born rapper Eyeconic, telling the story of his early years in the UK. As first and second generation immigrants respectively, this is a theme close to Mateusz and Stephanos' hearts