Beanfield Human Patterns

This one is a stormer! Steeped in syncopation, live and programmed percussion, and warm, analogue instrumentation, Human Patterns is a successful blend of breakbeat and jazz. Rare in its beauty, songwriting strengths and noodle-free character, the album has a breezy, outdoor jam session vibe, resulting in a full-on fusion for the 21st century. Compost label-head Michael Reinboth is one third of Beanfield; given his connection to and affinity for the work of people such as Jazzanova, Rainer Trüby and Kruder & Dorfmeister, it comes as no surprise that Latin-tinged rhythms and percussion form the backbone. It's difficult to believe that 90 percent of the album's beats are programmed when checking tracks such as "Corso" or "Enchanting Signs," both of which feature arse-shaking percussion, killer acoustic bass and wicked keys. Similarly, the Brazilian-flavoured (and undoubtedly Azymuth inspired) "Catalpa" is all about the percussive patterns, adding live drums to the mix and going for broke while riding a rhythm that builds, breaks and travels to freeform jazz land. Human Patterns has its downtime as well, with the easy, breezy and playfully experimental "Abstractions" being absolutely enchanting, and the chilled beats, acoustic bass and absolutely gorgeous string arrangement of "The Great Outside" giving birth to a down-tempo cousin of 4 Hero's d&b creations. As if that wasn't enough, the song of hope and tribute to spring that is "The Season" is completely mind-blowing. Here, the spoken word styling and distinctive vocals of Bajka (think Esthero meets Erykah Badu) are front and centre; set against subtly funky jazz bits, she absolutely soars. This one is guaranteed a place in the record box of future-minded DJs for many a year to come. (Compost)