There was a time when certain quarters of the music industry looked down on emerging digital technologies and the styles that they drove, dance, rap, hip-hop, drum and bass etc. I suspect there are still some, probably wielding their trusty Gibson guitars, delivering derivative music, and who refer to themselves as “proper” musicians, who still look down their nose at such music.
But the point that they are missing is that technology – synths, samples, the studio – are just other instruments to be mastered and manipulated and few do it better than Vinnie Jinn. Having cut his teeth in Polish rap outfit Klif n Jinn, he has since turned his skills to making broader, more encompassing music fusions, and the results are gorgeous indeed.
Joyful Noise is exactly that, an album of upbeat, mainly instrumental creations that takes in everything from trip-hop to jazz, hip-hop to ambient, niche urban sounds to world music.
End of Rain is a series of chiming, piano punctuations dancing above cascading washes of sound, gentle jazz grooves and liquid sounds; gentle, hypnotic and understated. By contrast, you have Funky Shadow which is upbeat and bass-driven, shot through with scintillating and sultry sax sounds and funky breaks.
For my money, Orange Zest is perhaps the stand out track with its bundles of tribal beats and delicate spirals of guitar. Jaugust echoes with the late-night jazz sounds of a bygone era and Suspension is a slightly left-field cinematic soundtrack, perhaps the playout to an art-house movie as the credits roll and the people leaving the cinema to make a mental note to check out the composer.
Joyful noise is a lot of things – experimental, adventurous, beguiling, refreshingly unique, genreless and gentle. But more than any of that, it is a reminder that digital music can be every bit as smart and switched on, creative and cool as that made by “traditional” instrumentalists. But you knew that already didn’t you?
Listen to Joyful Noise HERE