Scorpeze and Cordell Johnson, 'Jazzgalaktic': Song You Need to Know - Rolling Stone
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Song You Need to Know: Scorpeze and Cordell Johnson, ‘Jazzgalaktik’

New house track from the two producers builds on the legacy of Roy Ayers and Larry Heard

Scorpeze and Cordell Johnson’s “Jazzgalaktik” starts with a pair of tributes. A brief, descending squeak, as if a machine is powering down, evokes the opening of turn-of-the-century club-fillers like Spiller’s “Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love),” while a grandly wobbling synthesizer nods to Mr. Fingers’ “Qwazars.” This is house music homage, and also a sign that the producers are ready to take a big swing.

Around 70 seconds, after the Mr. Fingers-esque effect fades away, thick chords from an electric keyboard flop into the track, answered by a hammering run on a piano. These instruments continue to skirmish for most of the remaining six minutes of “Jazzgalaktik,” flirting and fighting as the rhythm section, full of hand percussion and vamping bass, sails beneath them. The ebb and flow is expertly orchestrated for the swirl of the dance floor.

In an email, Scorpeze says “Jazzgalaktik” started in the winter of 2019. “We were meeting every weekend to get some ideas down,” he explains. “I had worked up some drums, which gave Cordell the idea for the jazzy melody that the song revolves around.” Once the two artists agreed on some chords, Scorpeze added a solo to finish the track off. “We call it ‘Jazzgalaktik’ because we blended the bebop feel with futuristic electronic elements,” the producer adds.

“Jazzgalaktik” is the title track of Scorpeze and Johnson’s new EP, released December 28th.

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