Single Reviews: 21 March 2023: Charlotte Reinhardt, KAVOS, Jasperjasper, Hasard Noir, PACKS


Photo by Kyle Johnson

Charlotte Reinhardt - Laska

neoclassical jazz

Pianist, composer, and producer Charlotte Reinhardt splits her time between France and Spain, working on compelling and deeply meditative music. Reinhardt comes from a musical bloodline (take a look at the surname), and her pianist mother passed down her Roma roots. An alumnus of the French Conservatory of Music, Reinhardt's music is a tapestried and complexly rich concoction of neoclassical piano, nonchalant electric guitar, textured ambience, and odd sounds. These elements blend with unexpected key changes, harmonization, and cinematic textures, making the track professionally constructed and artistically constituted. It leaves one with a drifting sense of time and space, rendering the present a vague and malleable experience with free-to-stretch-out tempos, allowing instruments to dip and rise with transient mystery. Quite remarkable.     

KAVOS - Dubious Claim 

experimental jazz

When Canberran musicologist Constantine Campbell decided to explore his half-Greek heritage, he pulled out all the stops and did a doctorate. His academically informed jazz ensemble, Kavos, explores the intersection of jazz and rebetiko, an outpost on the musical landscape seldom occupied with much fanfare. One could feel intimidated by the intellectualization and laboratory approach to this jazz fusion, especially one loaded with cultural connotations, but one wouldn't be listening. Campbell's hypnotizing and memorable saxophone lines highlight music's capability of jolting the listener with novelty. As an ensemble, KAVOS have a familial vibe. Drummer Nick McBride plays with loose precision, Llewellyn Osbourne adds a light-hearted mood with eldritch keys, while Lachlan Coventry on bouzouki and Christopher Pound on double bass flesh out this intriguing musicology. The single "Dubious Claim" is taken from the album Pirates of Piraeus.

Jasperjasper - Afterneath


On "Afterneath", a track taken from an EP of the same name, Parisian artist Jasperjasper blurs the edges of her pop experiments with indistinct voicings, sublime synth work, and an awesome musical structure that dips in and out of coherency and which alludes to the mysticisms of modern life. The mix of synth sounds and emotive vocals calls to mind the atmosphere of Olive's 90s hit "You're Not Alone", albeit without the bootstrap tightness of that track's beat but with equal atmospheric scope.   

Hasard Noir - Neruda


While often spoken of derogatorily in the context of culture under capitalism, the simple life has many virtues and deep beauties. French Three-piece jazz ensemble Hasard Noir keep it simple on "Neruda", a single taken from their recently released album "Luna". By "simple," I mean they sonically colour between the lines of already mapped-out, free-form, improvisational jazz structures. Their playing is anything but rudimentary, and the group merge in a timeless mesh of skilful musicianship, dynamic intensity, and an inspiring mood that puts a spring in your step as it affords inquisitive retrospection. 



Headed by the ambitiously-slacker artist Madeline Link, PACKS' upcoming album Crispy Crunchy Nothing was written between the two extremities of North America, Canada and Mexico. The final single to be released from that album is "EC", a song in equal parts sensitive and biting; there's undeniable grit in this folk rock offering that has as much stylistic vigour as it does backhanded and sneering acidity, not to mention to a winsome melody, colourful lyrics, and bendy guitars (the best kind of guitars).