Adrian Younge: Something About April.
Adrian Younge burst into the spotlight with the score and soundtrack to Black Dynamite in 2009. However, he had previously composed an EP in 2000 entitled Venice Dawn that highlights his affection towards soundtrack composers. Late last year, he followed that EP with a new project, Something About April.
While the music is the score to a film that doesn’t exist, the imagery presented within more than makes up for it. The album is a blend of soundtrack psychedelia, heavily centered on blaxploitation sounds in large part to its snappy, hip-hop laden beats that underpin the twinges of soul as showcase in “Reverie.” The eerie Selene, a sample-based keyboard, features prominently on the track and throughout the entire album. Even without vocals, an overwhelming sense of emotion drips from the track. Even more impressive is that the track is a complete solo track. Younge plays vibraphone, clarinet, flute, electric bass, drums, The Selene, Electric Guitar, Monophonic Synthesizer, Harpsichord, Hammond B-3, tenor sax, and baritone saxophone.
Vocal tracks, such as “First Step On The Moon,” help to add detail to the story with fresh metaphors sung by the crystal clear Rebecca Jordan. Jordan also features on other tracks such as “It’s Me” and “Midnight Blue.” However, she isn’t the only vocalist performing on the set. Loren Oden is featured on “Anna May” and “Sound Of A Man,” where he especially lets loose, to add a counterbalance. Brooke Derosa brings a mesmerizing operatic touch to the denouement in the title track (and album closer)
Film composers like Henry Mancini and Ennio Morricone would be proud to have Younge as a part of their fraternity with the way he utilizes a bevy of instruments to harness raw emotion to advance the story. Then again, so would the RZA (remember his score from Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai?). However, it’s the balance between the old school compositional techniques mixed with the new school street cred that thrust Younge to the forefront of his generation.