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Hot Off a USA West Coast Tour, The Kandinsky Effect Celebrates Its First Cuneiform Release Synesthesia with Shows in New York and Maryland, June 14-21, 2013


Conceived on Paris’s cosmopolitan jazz scene, forged on the road in America, and informed by international currents in electronic music, The Kandinsky Effect is a jazz power trio for the 21st century. Now based in New York City and Paris, the band makes its Cuneiform debut with Synesthesia, a roller-coaster ride of an album marked by fierce grooves, subtle electronic textures, intricate metrical shifts, and a commitment to empathic group interplay.

Featuring Warren Walker on saxophone and electronics, Gaël Petrina on bass and electronics and Caleb Dolister on drums and laptop, The Kandinsky Effect avidly explores a vast sonic territory, including some too seldom associated with jazz. They are searching for new ways to work within the jazz idiom by blending the borders of jazz, rock, electronica, hip-hop and experimental sounds.

Steeped in improvisation and various post-bop vocabularies, the trio has honed a sound described by the Los Angeles Times as “bracing, electronically tweaked jazz.” It’s an approach that erases distinction between front line and rhythm section, as all three musicians constantly direct the music’s flow, changing arrangements and musical movement on the flying by employing several dozen hand cues and other methods. As the group states, "Our music doesn’t have to be harmonically complex to be interesting. The effects are almost a separate instrument. We think of ways to shape the effects around the tune. It’s never ending. Every gig is different and an experiment. The risk is what makes it happen."


Fri. June 14: MARLBORO, NY
Live At The Falcon
1349 Route 9W, Marlboro, NY
T: (845) 236-7970 -
opening for Sex Mob

Sat. June 15: NEW YORK, NY
85 Avenue A (between 5th and 6th St.), Manhattan, New York, NY 10009
T: (212) 777-1157
9pm, Tickets: $10 advance / $15 doors

Thurs. June 20: BALTIMORE, MD
An die Musik Live
409 North Charles St, Baltimore, MD
T: (410) 385-2638
8pm, Tickets: $15/$10 full-time students with ID

Fri. June 21: BROOKLYN, NY
MakeMusicNY Festival @ Kinfolk Studios
90 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
5:30pm - 6:30pm

The Kandinsky Effect - Synesthesia
Genre: Jazz / Alternative

Synesthesia opens with the rough and tumble “Johnny Utah,” which has little to do with Keanu Reeves’ surfer/FBI agent in the beloved 1991 film “Point Break,” except maybe a brooding sense of momentum, a relentless drive enhanced by clattering percussion breaks. Like several of Walker’s tunes “M.C.” moves sleekly through a series of sections, each built upon a different rhythmic theme or motif. In the same way, “Walking…” sounds more like a series of helter-skelter sprints over broken ground than a leisurely stroll.  

While the band excels at acceleration, The Kandinsky Effect also knows how to slow down, playing melodies that ooze and saunter. On Walker’s “Cusba,” the band displays a knack for mysterious balladry, with a coolly disquieting theme. The atmosphere gets thicker on “WK51” with the clattering march-time snare chatter building cinematic tension, the coiled calm before a deadly confrontation. The album closes with “If Only,” another ominously serpentine line with subtle layered effects that make it clear the trio has absorbed lessons from Bjork, Squarepusher, and Aphex Twin in developing a lapidary but spacious sound.

Over dozens of shows performed in North America and Europe, the well-travelled trio of Walker, Petrina and Dolister had honed their collective sound to a fine polish. The transatlantic met in a studio mid-way between New York and Paris - in Rejkavik, Iceland! - to record their new album. The result was Synesthesia, The Kandinsky Effect’s second release, and the group’s first recordings on American-based, internationally-distributed Cuneiform Records. Featuring 11 captivating tracks that are simultaneously rhythmically gorgeous, groove-laden, compositionally interesting and immediately accessible, Synesthesia promises to spread the sensory magic of The Kandinsky Effect’s transatlantic jazz worldwide.

"Johnny Utah" (mp3 download) stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

The Kandinksy Effect

"Few trends in popular music have made such an indelible impression on modern jazz as ‘90s innovations in drum-n-bass. The fragmented, lightning-paced beats of Squarepusher and Aphex Twin have been gleefully appropriated by today’s generation of percussionists and the proliferation of effects pedals have made it possible for single-line instruments to create the same electronic soundscapes once the signature of analog synthesizers. Paris/New York trio The Kandinsky Effect takes this approach, firmly grounding their electronic and rhythmic ideas in solid musicianship..... There is a fundamental expectation that a jazz record will be a document of a performance, as opposed to a sonic construction unto itself. The Kandinsky Effect does an amazing job of creating something that satisfies a listener’s expectations for both."
- The New York City Jazz Record

"Synesthesia is one hell of a ride that shows the strength and innovations left in jazz music and all the new styles of music created in the 21st century. A must hear experience...
- Sound Colour Vibration

"Surging forward with fierceness, groove and trickiness, Synesthesia is a mind-bending, eclectic and challenging sonic stream that doesn’t contain even a shred of pretentiousness, but is full of creativity, individuality, expressivity and outside of the box thinking. ..."
- Igloo Magazine