For the past year or so, I've been watching the Denver music scene explode! From the dynamic afro-beat sounds of Atomga to the breakout grooves of Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats to the Indie sounds of The Kissing Party, Colorado's front range has become one of the country's rising music hot spots.
Things have only become more groovalicious with the recent release of the outstanding new album, MataMata, from Denver’s electro-funk collective, Tnertle (on Super Best Records). The man behind the curtain (and behind the bass) is Trent Campbell. Campbell composed all the tracks on the new album and his expert production takes us on a musical, cross-genre, adventure moving seamlessly across classic funk, laid back chill, electro-swing, neo-soul and more. Campbell always keeps things interesting and this well-produced collection hits all the right notes. These eleven tracks have quickly become my go-to soundtrack for many late night gatherings.
The dynamic title track, MataMata, channels the best grooves of Thievery Corporation, while the sample-laden, Dance All Night, showcases Lily Fangz' fine hip-hop vocals over a tight horn arrangement. Back-to-back, these two tracks combine for one of the best one-two punches from any album released in 2015.
Tnertle knows how to groove. Check out the driving "Beautiful Mind" featuring Ray Salazar holding his own over the funky, horn-laden beats. As the band's press release accurately points out, "Tnertle has evolved into an 8-piece collective with every musician holding an intricate piece of the musical puzzle. Leah Concialdi uses her arranging background to utilize a musical sound palate of baritone saxophone, soprano saxophone, and electronic wind instrument (EWI) to fill out Campbell’s melodies in the live setting." On this album, the amazingly talented, multi-instrumental Concialdi (who also plays on Nathaniel Rateliff's recent chart-busting album) is joined by her ATOMGA band mate, Alice Hansen, on trumpet to give the group a full-ranged, dynamic horn section. The horns are really what makes this album so special. Whether adding punch to the instrumental track "Menertle" or swing to the oh-so-fun "Hector Schwing," Concialdi and crew stand out from the crowd.
Definitely look for them live this winter if you are in the Denver area. Tnertle is a band to watch.
Give Tnertle a listen. You won't be sorry!
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The site features music from taste-maker SD Hox (aka @playlistgiants and hoxsd1).