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About Me:18-year-old sixth form student, studying English Literature, History and Government and Politics. My articles will broadly cover topics from the current affairs of politics to reviews of books and albums, as well as adding my own creative pieces, whether it be short fiction or general opinion.
Up and coming jazz/funk/hip-hop singer-songwriter and producer, Tom Misch, has decided to go back to his roots where he used to ‘produce a beat a day and then upload it on Soundcloud’. Taking a break from his impending debut album, Misch embarked on a ‘5 Day Mischon’ where he would create, record and mix a track a day for five days with other musicians. The finished product is a mixed bag, with Misch finding his groove towards the latter half of the EP, perhaps finally loosening into the rigid structure.
Day 1: Ephemeral
This track sees Tom pair up with one of his frequent collaborators, Carmody, with a song about transient ‘love’. The track is rather jumbled. It begins with spacey vocals over soothing jazz chords, but then, after a great guitar lick, awkwardly turns into a funk tune. This is one of the tracks that appears rushed and amateur, and defeats the point of the project, which was to showcase Tom’s ability to create great tunes in a short amount of time. It comes off as a bunch of ideas thrown into one awkward jumble, which perhaps fleshed out into different, more thought out tracks, would have come off well.
Day 2: Feeling
Misch has always swayed towards hip-hop with his music. Since the very beginnings of his Soundcloud days, he was putting out beats that oozed influence from J Dilla, and his frequent work with Loyle Carner has seen such influence bear some juicy fruit. Therefore, it was unsurprising for him to produce a great down-tempo beat for a rapper. The only problem is, the said rapper, Novelist, lets this song down with bars drowning in clichés and epithets (‘there’s hurdles / you’re blessed / learning is part of the quest’). That said, he does come with a great hook – ‘we could get physical, but there’s way much more than a physical’, and Tom’s backing vocals are smooth to match.
Day 3: When You Want to Love
After two relatively disappointing tracks, I was beginning to lose hope for this project. But the third track is where the EP starts to pick up and find its groove. With an incessant kick-drum and harmonised oos in the back, coupled with Will Heard’s great tone of voice, the track comes off as a great chill-out, especially when the boom-bap beat kicks in. This is where Tom seems to be most at home; it’s no surprise that this is the track Tom chose to have vocals over where he talks about making beats and soulful music.
Day 4: Everybody Get Down
In contrast to the previous track, Everybody Get Down, has a brilliant jazz/funk fusion with disco to create a great blend of feel-good music. It contains licks from saxophonist Kaidi Akinnibi and an erudite chord progression. The only drawbacks are perhaps Tom’s awkward vocals ‘everybody get down get down get down’, which, admittedly, do grow on you, and the outro which is unnecessarily chilled.
Day 5: For Carol
And so we leave the best for last. This track is the most intriguing of the EP in that it shows Misch entering new territory – he turns away from the jazzy funk element to turn to something more orchestral. His work as a producer is flaunted here as he has myriads of layers of the same violin playing different sections like an orchestra. Whether it is the main undulating phrase, the plucked staccato notes or the chord progression, it all comes from the same instrument and has been masterfully crafted together. The epic scale of the track is punctuated by arpeggiated synth notes, which build to a crescendo before finally dropping out, giving space for Tom’s trademark guitar solos, and this particular one stands out as one of his best and most soulful. Impressive stuff.
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