täpp, or täpp collective, are a new and dynamic group led by violinist Rebekah Reid. Made up of ten different musicians and artists, the jazz collective incorporates many different influences into their work in order to create collaborative music which is both unified and unique. On June 18th, täpp released their debut album i like what i do // i do what i like
on Bandcamp, sharing a new sound with their audience. i like what i do // i do what i like
is a genre-defying album in many ways, through its varied and shared influences – the blend of classical violin arrangements, jazz harmony, groovy drum riffs, political spoken word, and industrial electronics makes for an eclectic listen. Yet, the sound is cohesive despite its unique nature. The way in which piano interludes are interspersed within the album alongside rap tracks, violin arrangements, and jazz drum grooves is incredible – it’s shocking that the album has any cohesion at all. Yet, täpp’s sound is extremely distinctive, and manages to perfectly blend these differing influences into one impressive, collaborative project. Featuring singer/songwriter And Is Phi, Chantelle Gabriella Jazz and Delali on spoken word, percussionist and producer Contours, Ayo Salawu and Abbi Phillips on drums/SPD and Alex Hill on piano and loop pedal, this album is not one to miss.
‘täpp’s sound is extremely distinctive, and manages to perfectly blend these differing influences into one impressive, collaborative project’
As stated by the collective, the ‘compositional framework of the album is based around Rebekah’s unique use of loop pedal ‘layering’, both live and in a studio setting, in addition to improvisation and exploration of the interplay between jazz harmony and classical composition’. This initially intriguing partnership between the jazz and classical traditions transforms into a truly beautiful exploration within täpp’s debut album, making it a set of works which really celebrate the differences and similarities between the two musical cultures. The tracks on the album which really demonstrate this blend are ‘Chasing The Sun’ and ‘Orun’ – featuring upbeat grooves, warm string arrangements and a diversity of electronic elements, both tracks truly explore the points of connection between musical genres and between people. Whilst ‘Chasing The Sun’ has a more industrial sound and reaches moments of tense climax through its layering, ‘Orun’ is much more of a slow build. The wind-like pizz strings which open the piece are mirrored by the comforting entrance of the wind chimes, and later by the variety of new instrumental textures added to the mix. The looping drums provide a comfort and consistency which create an almost trance-like piece, accompanied by beautiful string harmony.
‘This initially intriguing partnership between the jazz and classical traditions transforms into a truly beautiful exploration within täpp’s debut album’
The album’s interludes really allow Alex Hill’s voice to shine on solo piano, and provide a moment of reflection and rest in the journey of the album. ‘M.R.’ and ‘R.R’ are continuations of the same melodic themes, creating a sense of flow in the album which is extremely welcome and insightfully represents the symbiotic nature of the collaboration. ‘Skimming Stones’ and ‘Reflections’ seem to follow the same pattern, as Hill plays continuations of previous ideas, developing and layering them further to increase their intensity. The theme of layering and looping definitely features throughout the album, as this is Reid’s framework for the whole compositional process. These piano meditations, accompanied sometimes by strings or drums, really reveal this sense of development – an ongoing process of creating, adding, learning, and repeating typifies this album. This is also made clear on tracks such as ‘Concrete Skyline’ and ‘Orun’.
‘The theme of layering and looping definitely features throughout the album, as this is Reid’s framework for the whole compositional process.’
Each track allows certain members of the collective to shine, and the two which stand out in particular are ‘Fly My Way’ and ‘Viology’. Although ‘Fly My Way’ is only an introduction to the album, the string arrangements beautifully introduce us to the soundworld that is i like what i do // i do what i like. ‘Viology’ also truly showcases Reid’s talents, as the only solo strings arrangement on the album – all parts are played entirely by Reid, and the track is compelling. The classical influence is clear in Reid’s work, yet she also adds a sense of modernity to the piece through her own solo style. The tremolo and harmonies are reminiscent of many classical pieces which explore themes of nature, birds, flight, and magic: what a masterpiece of composition, topped off by the thunder and rain which brings it to a close. In stark contrast, ‘Never Knew Why’ and ‘Aquaria’ are the vocal pieces on the album, featuring spoken word and rap, as well as subtle, catchy melodies from singer And Is Phi. The political commentary which the lyrics provide is much-needed – ‘Look at this so-called democracy – who has the real authority?’ – and is so tastefully done. These two tracks feel particularly emotional; ‘Aquaria’ opens with clapping and stomping from the musicians and soon moves into soulful vocal ideas, allowing the musicians to really express themselves. The synth solo on this track is also incredible, as Hill plays with real intensity.
‘What a masterpiece of composition, topped off by the thunder and rain which brings it to a close’
täpp as a collective have made a truly beautiful album which perfectly balances the blend between different players, genres and influences. i like what i do // i do what i like makes musical and political statements which are thoughtful and profound, featuring amazing individual players coming together to create a conversation. This album is a really moving listen, featuring beautiful string arrangements, jazz piano harmony, elliptical drum grooves, spoken word, looping electronics, and more. Whether you love jazz or not, this album is for all music-lovers, collaborators, and creatives.