Some wielder of sage words once dubbed Nick Marx’s musical craftsmanship as “cinematic jazz electronica,” and I’ll be damned if that isn’t the perfect encapsulation of the music unravelling before our very ears. While much of the music entrenched within the chilled electronica domain seems content to meander aimlessly, relishing in the comfort of ambient soundscapes, seldom venturing into the realms of true audaciousness, Asymptomatrix emerges as an altogether different beast.
He does embrace those familiar chilled synth tones I alluded to earlier. Yet, these are merely a platform, a starting point, a foundation upon which to erect and interlace a symphony of intricate elements. Beneath this melodic framework, he anchors pulsating beats that ebb and flow between robust grooves, sly funk manoeuvres, and delicately skittering rhythmic patterns. Above it, he is having the time of his life.
Here, jazzy brass pirouettes gracefully over undulating waves of electronica while sudden, dynamic shifts in tempo and direction appear from nowhere, effortlessly transitioning the track from feverish dance floor escapades to seductive melodic interludes at the drop of a hat. It’s a testament to the notion that funk and soul, jazz and dance, the urban pulse and the fiery Latin cadence are all just different sides of an admittedly very strange-shaped coin.
There’s an unmistakable cinematic quality to this opus, an attribute that comes as no surprise considering his background as a conservatory-trained jazz and classical pianist, coupled with his esteemed reputation as a sought-after composer for the silver screen and the small screen alike.
In its essence, it’s a marvellously exquisite and exhilarating musical piece infused with subtle shades of the later, more experimental works of Steely Dan, which, in my book, is about as good as it gets.