Channelling the playful spontaneity of artists such as Thundercat, experimental jazzers High Pulp return with a brand new single that melds jazz and hip-hop with experimental rock. In-demand bassist MonoNeon features on this incredibly funky track.
Originally formed in Seattle but now based in Los Angeles, High Pulp’s brand of experimental jazz often hints at everything from Miles Davis and Duke Ellington to Aphex Twin and My Bloody Valentine. Their well received second album, ‘Pursuit Of Ends’ (2022), balanced meticulous composition with visceral spontaneity and performances that were nothing short of virtuosic, fueled by raw, ecstatic horn runs ducking and weaving their way around thick bass lines and dizzying percussion.
Today sees the release of a brand single entitled ‘Never In My Short Sweet Life (feat. MonoNeon)’ as the opening salvo from a new album scheduled for the summer. Born Dywane Thomas Jr., MonoNeon is a bassist and experimental musician who has recorded with the likes of Mac Miller, Nas, Ne-Yo and Georgia Anne Muldrow. He was also the last bassist to work with Prince.
“‘Never In My Short Sweet Life’ was the most challenging track we have written to date,” states High Pulp drummer Bobby Granfelt. “It had so many iterations and sections, while we kept tweaking it, stripping it down to what we believed was its core, like a whimsical Flying Lotus meets The Beatles psychedelic odyssey. There used to be an outro with a beautiful horn arrangement, but we ended up scrapping it and opted for a modular synth-led ambient outro featuring a baritone guitar (coincidentally owned by labelmate and friend Christian Lee Hutson). Ultimately, however, it has proved to be our most rewarding and collaborative composition.”
The single is accompanied by an animated video in which robots can be seen seeking companionship in the desert. Watch it HERE .
High Pulp consists of keyboardist Antoine Martel, a mad scientist with a wall of modular synths and a passion for film scores and abstract soundscapes; keyboardist Rob Homan, whose innate ability to process, deconstruct and reassemble material on the fly borders on the scary; bassist Scott Rixon, a convert from the metal and hardcore world with impeccable pop sensibilities and a selfless ability to serve the song; tenor saxophonist Victory Ngyuen, a Pharoah Sanders acolyte with an ear for urgent, entrancing solos of the highest order; alto saxophonist Andrew Morrill, whose bold tones and fearless harmonic sensibilities have earned him a reputation for dragging the old school into the 21st century; and, last but not least, Granfelt, whose hip-hop and bebop-inspired drumming laid the initial foundation for the entire project.
“When you put us all together, our sound isn’t so much a fusion as it is a synthesis,” he explains. “There are a lot of personalities coming from very different places in High Pulp. We use it all as fuel to create something that’s totally our own.”