Why? Their new album is stupendous.
Louis Cole and Genevieve Artadi have been going for 13 years now and I never knew. That will change now.
Because their current album, Knower Forever, is a piece of brilliance. This duo, augmented occasionally by others to create a Jazz Funk sound, have solo careers too.
And as Music Related Junk opined;
The fact Knower aren’t more well-known is an absolute crime. The duo’s latest jazz-funk banger bonanza is one of the most fun albums I’ve heard in a while.’
I heartily concur. Their last album, 2016’s ‘Life’, had more of an urgent, trebly, dance dominion feel about it, but this album steps back and embrace more music; I like albums that touch more music.
Yes, there’s Yacht Rock here. Not the early Laurel Canyon style, but the tighter, almost Funk-but-something-else of Boz Scaggs’ ‘Lido’ and later Doobies.
That wound up Yacht Rock redolent of crowded toilet stalls and crushed clubs, the kind I like.
‘I’m The President’ is this type, blaring horns with a squelchy synth bass and an insistent piano. Artadi’s singsong vocal melds well with a musical theatre progression and an oddly effective short skank; then they usher you into another room with soft lighting and an almost lounge piano with an Acid Jazz style and long drum paradiddles to finish.
If that description sounded long, it’s all in the song but much more entertaining. And they raise the knots of the Yacht for ‘It Will Get Real’, a very smooth ride, fast but with no waves to spill your champers.
It takes a good band to speed away and keep it as tight as a model’s cheeks. The wonderfully named ‘It’s All Or Nothing Until It’s Everything’ has an almost Drum & Bass speed and an Acid Jazz piano solo which simply doesn’t fit, that ominous strings support it give it importance which argue that it’s in keeping. Sam Wilkes on bass with Jacob Mann and Rai Thistlethwayte on keys support Cole and Artadi beautifully here.
Manoneon on bass and Sam Grendel on sax help to deliver the buttoned down speed of ‘The Abyss’, an electric joanna solo which is fantastic fusion and that itchy bass make this a highlight.
Jazz ‘N Atmos
What to call the rest of the tracks? It’s difficult, but I’ve had a stab above.We can go from a frail and becoming ‘Same Smile, Different
Face’ to a hard beating with whispering vocal and ethereal ‘Do Hot Girls Like Chords’, which then rouses itself for an almost fractured, jazzy solo.
And closer ‘Crash The Car’ has such a coaxing vocal, you feel it might be trying persuade you.
There’s a distance to all of this music, a feel that the playing should be admired and never a request for you to enter the music and dance within it. This music is so good, it need make no requests.
The only request they made were fans to fans through Bandcamp. They responded, to the tune of 1344% funding.
Now I know Knower, I now know I won’t forget them. The other albums are slightly different but still cool, this though is stunning.
I’ll let SongBar sum it up;
‘A third jazz-funk tour de force LP of outstanding musicianship, infinite energy, humour and invention by the LA duo of singer Genevieve Artadi and genius drummer and multi-instrumentalist Louis Cole joined by a host of brilliant players.’
Credit; North Sea Jazz Festival
Knower are a grower. And I like the way they’re opening their music to the sun, straining to mature and progress into different directions, odd directions; this might be a strange little album, but that’s part of its charm.
Shouldn’t work, some might say. But why not? Take a chance and interesting things happen. Knower Forever? Perhaps so…