In Welsh folklore the word “Annwn” is interpreted as “the otherworld”; a place of beauty, eternal youth and good, something of a utopian paradise. This is the name given to Soulstatejazz‘s new release, which pays homage to the beautiful surroundings of the Nanerth Valley in mid Wales, where the album was recorded.
The live ensemble, led by Freerotation resident Tom Ellis, spent three days improvising in the Malt Barn studio and the result is a 6-track debut album that blends elements of electronic, contemporary jazz and house. Marking the fourth LP on Bristol’s Banoffee Pies Records, Annwn brings together a group of talented musicians including Mark Hand on the keys, Michiel Renger on Tenor Sax and Dave Elson on FX and production, with several other artists and residents close to Freerotation and Malt Barn studio appearing across the album.
A continuation of the sounds heard in their live sets, the first of which took place last summer at Freerotation followed by another at Banoffee Pies’ boss Ell Weston’s Headroom festival that he runs with partner Jessica Farley, the album matches crisp percussion and warm bass lines with sweeping sax notes and pulsating meditative keys.
Annwn is out on 22nd May via Banoffee Pies.