TILTED captures a single live acoustic jazz session that serves as the sample source material for Soundtrack for a Nonexistent Film. It’s 100% raw improvised music with long takes, no overdubs, and no cuts.
Soundtrack for a Nonexistent Film is the follow up release to TILTED and a fractal approach to beat-making, paying homage to the slice and dice sample-based golden era of hip-hop.
Brooklyn, NY (July 29, 2020) – Analog Players Society is proud to announce TILTED, the first title in a 2-part series. TILTED captures a single live acoustic jazz session at The Bridge Studio that was transformed into the cinematic, loop-based, instrumental, beat-driven fractal art that is Soundtrack to a Nonexistent Film. The albums stand side-by-side to the classic, sample-heavy production of Hip-Hop’s Golden Age. The live jazz recordings put you in the club with the musicians and the remixes put you on the street, deep in our new reality. TILTED is out August 28, 2020 (on Ropeadope Records) with Soundtrack to a Nonexistent Film following on October 30, 2020.
The Analog Players Society is a collective effort founded by producer and engineer, Amon, in Brooklyn, NY. APS started originally out of his first studio, “The Hook”, which recently moved, expanded, and was reborn as The Bridge Studio, now a major player in the NYC studio scene. The APS collective features a rotating ensemble cast of some of the top players in New York City. Amon has been “cherry picking” these great musicians and producers for a few years now in this rich garden. APS’ various projects, which are eclectic by nature, carry serious strains of the Jazz, Dub, Funk, Afrobeat, and Soul variety within it. Analog Players Society’s 2012 debut album, Hurricane Season In Brooklyn impressively debuted in the top 15 of the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart with press accolades pouring in from NPR’s Fresh Air, Wired, and All About Jazz to name a few.
Fast forward to April 2019, and the Analog Players Society is reborn during a live jazz session produced by Ben Rubin (aka Benny Cha Cha) and Amon Drum (aka Amon aka J. Amon) at The Bridge Studio, the hyped, new large-format recording studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn designed and owned by Amon. Ben gathered four of the best jazz musicians in New York City for the occasion: tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin (David Bowie’s last bandleader on Blackstar), pianist Orrin Evans (the Bad Plus), and the in-demand rhythm section of bassist Dezron Douglas and drummer Eric McPherson.
The quest was simple: Play two jazz standards, Thelonious Monk’s“Epistrophy” and Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “One Note Samba,” with “E-Mac” (Eric McPherson) keeping “some dirty, boom-bap” in mind whenever possible. The producers’ quest? Capture this session of heavy hitters and then take it back to the lab to slice, dice, loop, dub, and create something totally new. Amon explains, “These songs were ‘written’ in real time. There was no plan of where to go, when to do it, put a break here, let’s build here, let’s drop out here. All the directions you would classically give to musicians were absent. We relied on what we called, ‘real f’ing jazz,’ where the musicians are only reacting to each other. These are long takes, with no cuts, and no overdubs. One could call them live. The original tune “Freedom is, but a Fraction of Humanity!” just happened. Orrin was working something out on the piano while we were having a conversation. And then the other guys hopped in. With our motto at The Bridge Studio being ‘always rollin,’ it really paid off in this session.”
Ben adds, “The fact that so much music came out of this one three-hour session really blows my mind. The whole thing came together effortlessly and that was reflected in the playing and the recording. Everything flowed perfectly and little needed to be said. The band crushed it and Amon captured it all perfectly. The roughs from The Bridge sound almost mixed to me. I really miss the sample collage-style of hip-hop from the late-80s and early 90s. It was really pushing the art forward hard. Using this kind of session to create our own sample sources is a great way to grab some of that vibe without having to do any expensive clearance.”
The title of the album came from the cover art photo shot by Amon’s longtime friend and collaborator Jude Goergen, who got an amazing drone shot of the Manhattan skyline right next to the studio. The shot was called “tilted,” and Amon realized it was a metaphor for what we, especially New Yorkers were going through during a time of political, social, medical, and environmental transformation. He adds, “The music reflects the dystopian reality that’s filled with confusion, fear, anger, and a glimpse of hope.”
TILTED is a special release that fits into the evolution of Analog PlayersSociety’s catalog. Amon elaborates, “APS has always been about bringing studio musicians together to create something larger than the sum of our parts. This is the first album of my own that comes out of The Bridge Studio, so it has a special place in my heart. I just feel like I really had the freedom to push the boundaries and take some chances, and make some uncommon decisions, especially in the mix process. With APS, my hope is never to be locked into a genre…sometimes even in the same record. In addition, we have a tradition. APS was founded on taking cover songs into strange territory. And coming up with new compositions along the way. So TILTED fits right into that trajectory.”
Amon passionately concludes, “Stay tuned for Soundtrack for a Nonexistent Film. TILTED is only part 1 of the story being told from that magical day at The Bridge.”
1. “One Note Samba”
3. “Freedom is, but a Fraction of Humanity!”
*Photo cred Jude Goergen