Quantic presents ‘The Western Transient – A New Constellation’ (Tru Thoughts) 3/5

quantic‘Quantic presents the Western Transient’ is the latest musical endeavour from Will Holland, a.k.a Quantic. Holland has an insatiable hunger for sonic exploration, which has produced over 15 albums and has taken him all around the world, more notably from his Worcestershire roots to spending seven years in Colombia. Previously exploring Funk, Latin, Caribbean and African styles, he has spent more recent time touring the States where he has rediscovered his love for instrumental Jazz.
His albums represent an impressive musical scrapbook that document his travels. With that in mind, this album takes you on an intimate journey through the West coast of America, although recorded in Brooklyn, he recruited the musicians involved from Los Angeles. Holland explains that; “The themes reflect the beginnings of living in a new city, a creative intermission and a desire to experiment with an instrumental jazz format on American soil”.
The first track off the album to be released ‘Creation (East L.A)’ Is one of the more iconic and animated songs and stands apart from some of the other, more sober tracks. It coasts along with a predominantly disco feel, thanks to Hollands distinctive ‘Quantic’ rhythm guitar combined with Wilson Viveros grooving away on the hi-hat throughout. This is a bizarre, yet brilliant tune that really incapsulates the hybridity of Hollands music, with elements of disco, jazzy horns, Caribbean style steel drums finished off with electronic synthy sounds.

The opening track ‘Latitude’ has a relaxed and more sophisticated sound, giving a nostalgic nod to the golden days of Jazz. With soft meandering horn lines from saxophonist Sylvester Onyejiaka and trumpeter Todd Simon accompanied by the laid back jazzy flair of Viveros, Holland has definitely hit the nail on the head in terms of creating soulful and intimate instrumental jazz.

Tracks like ‘Mirzan’ and ‘Requiescence’ are equally chilled, but bordering on a little dull, with elements of Bossa and Samba that lack the punch he has formerly packed into these sounds. ‘A New Constellation’ is again, a little slow, and dare I say it, Lounge? I think that as I have always been a big Quantic fan, this is just a little too down beat for me, but that is me being a little too personal, as there is no denying that this is a good album, well executed with exceptional musicians all directed by the very talented Will Holland. An enjoyable listen, but quite different to many of his previous colourful and vivacious albums, so be sure to listen with fresh ears.

Lindsey Evans