Voices of Bishara - EP

Voices of Bishara - EP

Part of the appeal of Londoner Tom Skinner’s first release under his own name is that it sounds perpetually familiar but can’t be traced to a single source. Over the course of 27 minutes and with the unusual quintet of drums, bass, two cellos, and two saxophones, he compresses ’70s-style cosmic jazz (“Bishara”), noir soundtrack music (“Red 2”), abstract blues (“The Day After Tomorrow”), and sparkling post-bop (“Quiet As It’s Kept”) into pieces small enough to digest easily but dense enough to get across the essence of their respective reference points—a feat not just of composition but editing, which, in Skinner’s own words, owed more to the chopping and looping of disco and house DJs than anything else. But to the modern jazz fans who landed here because of Skinner’s affiliation with Sons of Kemet or the International Anthem label, know that Voices of Bishara isn’t a beat tape or collage project, and to the Radiohead fans curious about Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood’s collaborator in The Smile, know that, like great Radiohead, what makes Skinner’s process here interesting is how little you can hear its seams.

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