Smooth as fuck. That’s how I’ll elect to describe Michal Menert‘s brand new album Space Jazz, released this past Tuesday April 21st through SoundCloud (streaming) and Bandcamp (name-your-price download) on Super Best Records. It’s safe to say I have a majority of Michal Menert’s fantastic music in my iTunes library (62 tracks to be exact) and I’ve been a huge fan ever since I fell in love with the Pretty Lights Music family. For those who don’t know, Menert is a Denver-based producer who worked as a co-producer with Derek Vincent Smith (Pretty Lights) on the chart-topping Pretty Lights album Taking Up Your Precious Time. When Derek decided to found the label Pretty Lights Music, Menert was an obvious choice to become the first artist signed to the label and did so with his 2010 solo album release Dreaming of a Bigger Life. That album, Dreaming of a Bigger Life is one of those pieces that brings me back to a certain place and time. I’ll spare you the bulk of the details, but picture driving to the beach with the windows down in the middle of the Summer – it was the perfect vibing album.
Since that time back in 2010 Michal Menert has truly made a name for himself. He’s released a second massive album similar in style to his first, called Even If It Isn’t Right and has taken on headlining spots around the world. Moreover he’s brought the studio to the stage with his Big Band which is an 18-piece ensemble that Menert leads. In fact, this weekend Michal Menert will be brining his Big Band show to Red Rocks Amphitheater for one of the biggest performances of his career.
Space Jazz is significantly smoother and a bit more mellow than his previous two albums. And this isn’t to say that it’s worse because it’s certainly not – I’ve enjoyed listening to it three times in a row today as I write this. This album, like the previous two, is a musical journey filled with vintage vinyl samples and hard-hitting beats. Michal Menert’s Facebook page describes the album as “a fusion of yesterday’s elements and tomorrow’s ideas”. Where Space Jazz differs is in the vibes. There are more lyrics, more rhyming by guest lyricists, as well as softer bass lines. I remember Menert as someone who pushed heavy synth basses across his songs but those have been toned down to create more of a well-balanced sound.
Space Jazz is the culmination of two years of composition, recording, and mixing, and should prove to be a defining album not only for Menert’s career but for the genre of electro-soul and hip-hop based electronic music.
If you like any of the sounds coming out of the Pretty Lights family of artists, you’ll surely enjoy Michal Menert’s latest album. Make sure to catch Menert any time he’s on tour (I’ll be seeing him on May 14 at the Hawthorn in San Francisco), and definitely interact with him on Twitter or social media because he’s fucking hilarious.