Here's a taste of my forthcoming album, 96 B.P.M.
And here's the hype...
Chicago-based bassist/producer Alan Goldsher (Digable Planets, Janet Jackson, Cypress Hill) follows up his debut albums The Pocket and The Other Pocket with 96 B.P.M., a ten-tune set of original instrumental compositions that again demonstrate his fascination with stylistic diversity. On Goldsher’s club-centric, radio-ready sophomore outing, he embraces jazz, electronica, funk, rock, lounge, industrial, hip-hop, world music, and soul, yet the entire collection comes off as an utterly singular entity.
A digital-only release, 96 B.P.M. will be available to stream or download via all major digital music platforms on November 12, 2019.
“I’d compare it to a book of short stories with one overriding theme,” explains Goldsher, the author of the 2010 bestselling novel Paul Is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion. “Each track is an individualistic tale unto itself, but all ten tunes are part of a greater whole.”
The album holds together wonderfully, due in part the tempo after which it’s named. “To me, 96 beats per minute is modern music’s greatest groove,” Goldsher says, “and I felt an entire album at that tempo would be mindblowing. I fell in love with that tempo in the early-1990s thanks to A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory. Most of the tunes on that classic are at or around 96 B.P.M., and it’s just about the grooviest record ever.”
Rather than attempt to replicate a Quest-like rap vibe, Goldsher set out to demonstrate how much diversity one tempo could produce. To that end, the album features just one hip-hop-esque tune, “One More Time,” a funky throwback featuring several of rap’s greatest bass lines. “You’ll hear a Quest line, a Beastie Boys line, a Dr. Dre line, and a bunch more,” Goldsher says. “Sonically, they sound more or less like the original recordings, but there are exactly zero music samples. It’s all me.”
In general, 96 B.P.M. is mellower than its predecessors The Pocket and The Other Pocket — for instance, the Fender Rhodes-driven “Natty’s Other Idea,” the chillout jam “Baby Bass,” and the evocative four-on-the-floor groover “1992” all have the potential to become late-night favorites — yet the album has its fair share of volume.
Goldsher says, “‘Some Noisy Sh*t’ is an industrial thing that’s just about the loudest music I’ve created, which is odd, because it’s based on the chord changes of the tune ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.’ And ‘Heads,’ is a screamer with a 1980’s world music vibe that reminded me of the Talking Heads African bands.”
Alan’s love of jazz is another one of the project’s threads. The album kicks off with the two jazziest compositions of the record, “Sunny Bird” and “Sticky.” Of the first tune, Goldsher says, “This version of ‘Sunny Bird’ swings harder than the original recording from The Pocket. It’s beboppier and quieter than the first version, but equally intense.” As for “Sticky,” Goldsher had a specific goal in mind: “I’m obsessed with 1970s soul-jazz—Cannonball Adderley, Donald Byrd, George Benson, most of the CTI Records catalog—and this was my attempt to replicate and update.”
With this release, Alan is adding the title of “record label maven” to his extensive resume. “This is the first music from my very own Gold Note Records, which I am boasting delivers ‘The Dopest in Jazztronica Since 2019,’” he laughs. Goldsher has a pair of Gold Note Records projects on-deck: Still Sticky and Big Al Bassman’s One-Man Chicago-Tronica Party Time Groove Machine Funks Up the Jazz Classics, both of which will be available in early 2020.