New Sound 018 \\ Dutch Psych-Jazz outfit Tyranni Flock

10th June 2019

Tyranni Flock are an emerging band from Amsterdam’s jazz-fusion scene. 

Ripe for fans of VULFPECK, Flamingods and European neighbours STUFF, five piece Tyranni Flock have revealed ‘Ujung Kulon’. the first single from the upcoming six track EP, to be released in September. 

Elevated with auto-flute, birdsong and grooves inspired by reggae and electronic music, ‘Ujung Kulon’ travels through light wanderlust, accented by their music video filmed in the Indonesian Jungle that shares the single’s name. 

We can’t wait to hear the forthcoming EP from Tyranni Flock. To get a heads up on what’s to come, we spoke to keys player and bandleader Robert van der Padt. 

\\ How did you guys form the band? What brought you together?

I grew up with trumpeter Eric Vloeimans being a big influence on my music. He would tour with an acoustic trio as well as his jazzfusion band where he’d use all kinds of effects on his trumpet. Yet, he would always sound like himself. Having performed many acoustic music pieces as a piano student, Eric showed me that I could do both so I formed a group where we’d experiment with effects, electronics and synthesizers. Later Donny McCaslin released ‘Beyond Now’, which to me showed a new combination of raw jazz improvisation with produced electronic jazz. For Tyranni Flock I was looking for these same contrasts; I wanted both acoustic and electronic, both pop-produced and energetic solos. That is what the name stands for; the tyranni are screaming birds, both able to sing and scream, whistle and shriek. We combine EWI with flute, fender rhodes with electronic drums. That’s why we still refer to it as fusion, even though it is a new fusion.

\\ Tell us about the concept behind the tune ‘Ujung Kulon’ – and what does the title mean?
I was traveling Indonesia and visiting places where my grandmother – a daughter of Dutch colonists – had been born and grew up. Together with a local friend we traveled to the Ujung Kulon National Park, last resort of the Asian rhino, and took a three day hike. At some point during our second day my friend asked, “how do you compose music?”. As a response I decided to include him in a simple jam right there. So we hit on trees with sticks and used the name “Ujung Kulon” to create a hook for a bassline. I recorded with my phone, and back at home it became the start of what is now our single Ujung Kulon’, keeping the sung riff as our bass part. 
\\ What’s the music scene like around you? Who should we be listening to from the Netherlands?
The Netherlands has a great variety of different jazz styles thanks to the great schools that are attracting musicians from all over. Amsterdam is still one of the best places to find new music. I personally work with and love the music of Ikarai, who describe themselves as ‘cinematic modern music’. They take a narrative and create a full live show based on that. They just released their live CD “MUHAMMAD”, a live recording of their ode to Muhammad Ali. Other great bands creating their own blend of jazz and electronic are a.o. Niels Broos x Jamie Peet (amazing fully improvised sets), Son Swagga (spiritual jazz) and Kruidkoek (Garage Jazz). And don’t forget our own EWI-player Itai Weissman’s amazing EP with UsedToBeNew!

\\ There’s an EP on the way, can you describe its sound?
It is so hard to describe something when you are in the middle of it. What makes the band so fun to work with is everyone’s own musical roots. If you look at different projects we are involved in we cover everything from big pop artists, reggae tributes and 90s coverbands, to classical music and theatre. Though we all studied jazz music before, we focused on our own style. 

The compositions are very thematic and catchy, Pat Metheny also being of influence here, and we took our time to produce a nice sound in the studio. Some steps are made towards a bossa theme as well as some groove-oriented songs. There is a beautiful feature for Hermine Deurloo on the harmonica in our ballad. We played a lot since our debut release in 2018, which shows in the way these different songs fuse together and really make it a balanced record. 

Check out another New Sound artist, Italian pianist Maria Chiara Argirò

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