“BLDNTHNDR,” the latest atmospheric single from Kent-based jazz artist Unc D, debuted on two of Spotify's top editorial playlists for jazz (Jazztronica and All New Jazz) and has remained there since Jan 1. With no budget, Unc D. produced, composed, edited, mixed and “unmastered” the song using an iPad Mini.
“There were so many unconventional moves on my end — I never mastered the song, never put any money into marketing/pitching, carried the melody with bass guitar — but the success has been a testament to the talent we have in our area, as the song has stood on those playlists next to the biggest names in jazz,” says Unc D.
The single features some of the best upcoming jazz artists in the Cleveland area, including Tommy Lehman (Acid Cats, Nathan-Paul & the Admirables), Danny Svenson (Spirit of the Bear, Labra Brothers), Gino West (Jones for Revival, Larry Elefante) and John Polace (People in the Daytime).
“BLDNTHNDR” is part of a trilogy of lead bass singles (the next comes out on Feb. 11) that combine beat culture and improvised instrumental music.
“As producer, my thing is making the bass a careful center player while curating a kaleidoscopic soundscape of largely first take moments from a crew of the Cleveland area's finest instrumentalists,” says Unc D. “These songs are the result of many overdub sessions of individual remote recordings and live quintet overdub sessions.
“BLDGTHNDR" started out as a chord progression on the app iReal Pro. From there, Unc D wrote and recorded his basslines, added electronic drum sequencing and mixed in some synths.
He then brought the beat to Bearcave Records studio in Youngstown, where Danny Svenson (Thin Thicket) recorded and engineered a live quintet recording to the track. Lehman added his "endlessly classy" trumpet solo (remote recording only to the original minimal beat), and Polace remote recorded Rhodes, synths and clavs. Youngstown's John James Martin remote recorded vibraphone and glockenspiel, and Francesco Corrodo, a jazz artist based out of Italy, who remote remoted Rhodes.
Unc D took all of these overdubs and outtakes and edited them together into what he calls a “smooth circus of sound.”
In addition to the single’s release, Danny Svenson (Thin Thicket) and Unc D have launched Mofidelity, a label with a specific focus on releasing a brand new ringtone every week.
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