ManyColors is a new four-piece band that opens up new musical space by using a hip-hop format to explore chords and motifs usually reserved for jazz on their debut single “Bangs”. Soft and sure, “Bangs” offers comfort to the listener but presents a series of unanswered questions. Sonically it combines the twinkle of contemporary lo-fi aesthetics with the electric groove of older, more acoustic styles. This is a new sort of notch in the catalog of Color Red, a Denver-based label run by Eddie Roberts, the guitarist from British jazz fusion quartet The New Mastersounds.
Braxton Kahn dials in drums that stride with a subtle and seemingly off-time step. According to Color Red, guitarist Brant Williams “aims to capture all the musicians as if they were sampled while cultivating a fresh harmonic approach.” It’s impressive that a four-piece band of trained jazz musicians can be recorded to sound like a lo-fi hip-hop beat. It’s more intriguing that they would want to. Eric Luba tickles a Fender Rhodes electric organ, gently laying down those warm melodies that are so frequently sampled in lo-fi beats. Kirwan Brown works the bass guitar well, especially during the song’s swinging second movement.
The direct-to-tape approach of the producers Mike Tallman and Josh Fairman is another gesture towards hip-hop and creates a layer of dusty reverb across the stereo spread. Despite this dust, the audio quality is top-tier, and this is refreshing. (Not to discredit anyone, but much lo-fi music mistakes poor audio quality for an aesthetic). Apparently Color Red has “several” more songs from ManyColors scheduled for 2019. If you dig the audio quality, intelligent harmonics and of course the smooth vibe, then stay chooned.