Boyd’s Dark Matter shines a spotlight on jazz

Sofia Kovalenko, Beat Editor

When politics intrude the world of jazz, the result is something akin to Dark Matter. Despite a gloomy and negative deposition, Moses Boyd’s intention for his debut album was to provoke thought and bring people together. Through the use of various stylistic elements, Boyd creates a textured album that captures his feelings about the world around him.

With jazz becoming less and less mainstream, Boyd takes it upon himself to provide the necessary push to get people back into this genre. Taking inspiration from artists from all over the musical gamut, he mixes elements that seem unpairable into a jazzy concoction to draw in and unite listeners. His influences span from Bjork’s adventurous Vespertine and the Aphex Twins’ ambiance to James Brown’s funk-saturated rhythms. All of these aspects are tied together with jazzy tunes inspired by the master of nuance himselfHerbie Hancock.

Upon first listen, Boyd’s tracks create wildly differing atmospheres because of his manipulation of sound. Venturing from Poppy Ajudah’s delicate vocals featured on “Shades of You” to a heavy calypso-inspired drum beat on “BTB” and Obungjaya’s honey rasp in “Dancing in the Dark,” Boyd takes the listener on a journey of sundry sensations. 

However, one listen is not enough to grasp the nuances of Boyd’s go at genre amalgamation. In fact, these subtleties are easily missed if the context of Boyd’s life is not considered. A jazz drummer from London, he pours his feelings about the world around him, especially recent events, such as the uprising of BLM protests, into this album. As an avid traveler with an analytical mind, he also draws heavily from his past experiences with travel, different cultures, and thought-provoking conversations. While the track “BTB” serves as an homage to his trip to Jamaica, “Dancing in the Dark” is an emulation of the timeless style of Afrobeat with a twist of punk rock, paying tribute to the music of his childhood.

Dark Matter was written in hopes of helping people better understand not only the world around them but also each other. 

Most recommended songs:
Shades of You-
Dancing in the Dark-