Boomkat Product Review:
Max D and Matt Papich's angular, post-jazz project arrives on its most satisfying and coolly lavish chapter thus far, a deconstruction of dimlite lounge, fourth world ambience, slacker techno, skewed exotica and beat scene lilt. All vibes, with assistance from Juju & Jordash's Jordan GCZ, Motion Graphics, Irreverible Enganglements' Luke Stewart, Earthen Sea's Jacob Long, 1432 R's Dawit Eklund, and more.
'3' is Lifted's most confidently "jazz" moment - fully player-centric and elevated by crowd sounds and lounge-bar clinks, before they move into weirder, wilder territory. That landscape is excavated on 'Cymbecko' and 'Trip Tongue' immediately, two back-to-back moments of cosmic weightlessness that melts their jazz modalities into syrupy backseat dub ambience and dissociated cinematic paranoia respectively. Andrew Field-Pickering and Papich's method is to slowly disorientate, narcotically fluxing the pitch while more familiar patter fizzes nearby.
'Born in the Roof' is the first real curveball, an 11+ minute exercise in grooving dancefloor inversion that splits early '00s minimal sounds with a swung sine bass pulse that's straight from the 2-step playbook. It oozes into the Low End Theory-sprinkled slow-burn of 'Macarena' and the album's de-facto lead single 'Mecha Perfume & Variety' that introduced us to "3" back in November 2020. It still sounds completely fresh, melting Motion Graphics' vapor-lite pop flourishes with funk-flecked slap bass boinks and fourth world tuned percs. In the wrong hands, it could easily trip into tastelessness, but Field-Pickering and Papich's mixture of good humor and well-honed skill instead slides it into classic territory.
'Whipped Cream' is one of the album's most pleasant surprises, evoking a Gauloises-hazed mood of French cinema and café jazz, it helps draw "3" to a close with clarinet bursts and piano twinkles evaporating in incomprehensible concrete and faded synth pads. It's music that's simultaneously inspired by ECM and Rune Grammofon, Flying Lotus and Ricci Rucker, Villalobos and Basic Channel, Oneohtrix Point Never and Vektroid - levitational shit for heads, devotees and diggers that never loses the spark of discovery, enjoyment and collaboration. Big one.