Hailing from Norway and at just 18 years old Mathias Stubø's new self-titled album is a lovely collage of electro, tight punchy drums, whirling melodies and loose moments of free-falling jazz. Both of Stubø's parents are jazz musicians and his early years listening to jazz and fusion records provide the muse for much that is offered here.
It feels like some time since we heard a left field record quite like this - a record that is so packed full of joy, with kitchen-sink eclecticism and a happy-melodies-a-plenty. Think Röyksopp and Mr Scruff rummaging through a set of old Blue Note records whilst DJ Shadow focuses on making a few beats in the back room. And beats there are, for while this isn't a dark record it can still rock hard, as on psychedelic, bass-heavy 'Fly With Me'.
This is an album arranged into two halves. Part one is entitled High Frequency Feelings and is a bit grittier with hard beats and heavier bass. Part two, Soul Touch, is where more of the soul and jazz influences break out, as on the snappy freeform drums, stuttering piano and vocal snatches of 'Oss To'.
Whilst this is clearly an album of moments and ideas rather than songs there are still some stand out moments. The big spaces and fuller vocal of 'Soon a Brighter Day' have already seen it confirmed as a single and it obvious why. The penultimate 'Knock On My Door' also leaves a lasting impact, a hopeful prayer of a song with glimmering melodies.
Mathias comes across most comfortable when the jazz flows forward though, as on 'Don't Look Down'. The bass may be large and loud but it is the trumpet work that steals the show, creating a timeless beauty within this record.
Mathias Stubø is released soon on BBE, you can pre-order it on CD from Amazon.co.uk now [affiliate link].
Listen to 'Soon a Brighter Day' on Spotify: