Album Review: DoomCannon – Renaissance

Denisha Anderson

The Breakdown

A terrific blend of jazz with an important message all played out with some exeptional musicianship

‘Renaissance’ sees DoomCannon’s combine the social inspiration over the last few years, from the global pandemic to the worldwide outcry of the Black Lives Matter movement in the summer of 2020.  Mixing this inspiration with his carefully honed musical talent has seen DoomCannon craft a concept album, that encourages us to dream of a fairer world free from systemic injustice and selfish Governments. It’s a powerful message thats fitted in the music in an easy to access form. Simply stick it on and drift away.

DoomCannon comments:

“When writing the album, it felt like a transition from writing in other bands and being a part of other people’s projects to having my own voice and to speak about my Black British experience growing up around London. There are things I had to “unlearn”, ways I had to shape myself and my views on the world; greed, corrupt governments and police brutality within the UK and my stance on it all. ‘Renaissance’ is my letter to London about how it raised me and shaped who I am today.” 

Smooth keyboard the flutter of sax and the rattle of drums bring in the opening track ‘Dark Ages’ with spoken word that focuses on a world consumed by greed and confusion. Brass instruments trip and fall over each other and we get a glimpse of DoomCannon’s brilliant writing and ability to control several instrument voices.

The chilled and shimmering ‘Entrance To The Unknown’ bounces from left to right speakers with hypnotic floating notes and the gentle pulse of a sax. A meditation in jazz that manages to keep calm even though there is so much going on. From the skittery drumming and wandering bass to the twisting melodies from keyboard and sax and the odd noise from a solitary guitar that occasionally breaks the surface.

The guitar comes to the forefront with the next track ‘Uncovering Truth’. A rolling picked riff starts but is quickly lost under the shouting brass. The chaos quietens down leaving the silky notes from a saxophone and the rat a tat of drums over a steady and repetitive piano riff. There’s an urgency that builds with in the folded melodies as the track picks up speed and the choas decends once again only for order to be restored as quickly as it was lost. The guitar takes centre stage once again laying down a cool

‘Thesis’ acts as an interlude and is the shortest track on the album. Sounding like the end of something as it filters out each instrument and sounding like a busy cafe or bar that fades in and out with the steady bouncy of drums keeping it going.

Once again we a treated to some quirky guitar playing with the funky ‘Amalgamation’. A nod to the excellent drumming that has been faultless throughout this album. Moments of bliss filled horns beat a steady riff over the faltering guitar notes and drums. There’s a psychedelic middle with stretched keyboard notes and fluid drum rolls that smooth out as the track ends in DoomCanon’s chaos.

‘This Too’ is a busy track though calmer than the previous track giving a breather with caramel soft sax over some quality statement drumming.

With twinkling piano notes and the introduction of strings with vocals from Lex Amor, ‘Times’ has a gritty urban feel with a meditative atmosphere or repeated vocal phrases and interwoven horn sections and rolling drums.

To close the album we have two tracks that are intertwined. ‘Black Liberation Prologue’ has an interesting monologue from a black identity and point of view which morphs into the chilled and haunting ‘Black Liberation’ with swirling vocals and a burst of horns.

DoomCannon has gifted us an album of glorious jazz compositions which blend together perfectly. Dominated by smooth sax and brilliant drumming it’s the moment of well controlled chaos with DoomCannon created a fusion of several instruments each having its own thing to say yet all seamlessly melding together to create magic.

Check out the track Amalgamation, below:

Find out more via DoomCannon’s Website

DoomCannon’s debut album ‘Renaissance’ will be available in 12” vinyl LP, CD and digital formats on 15th July 2022 via Brownswood Recordings. Purchase the album here

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