The New Orleans-based live hip-hop sextet Yugen have been honing their acid jazz chops and astral soul sensibilities since 2010. The stalwart brainchild of electronic producer and musician Micah Jasper, Yugen is a forward-thinking ensemble of talented young musicians who use equal parts electronic and analog to embellish their swarthy, idiosyncratic vibes. The band’s EPK defines Yugen‘s sound as “cactus influenced karate chop music,” which rings undoubtedly true if the karate chop tunage is Hiatus Kaiyote‘s “Nakamarra” and the cactus in mind contained copious amounts of peyote.
Nearly a year after releasing their first track, “Remedies,” Yugen have released a string of new singles. Indie Current is stoked to premiere their newest track, “Chapels,” their shortest and most poignant release to date. “Chapels” eases in with porous and dilapidated saxophone hooks from Scott Clemens, setting up the foundation for MC Joao Amos to lay in with a introspective assault of self-possessed verses (“Levitate and pray like a Flying Lotus”). Joao Amos’ voice sounds nearly indistinguishable from the tipsy-drunk boom-clap, boom-boom-clap of Kevin Clifford’s drum set and the methodically meandering basslines of Nic Lefebre. Micah Jasper‘s electric guitar presents the most tangible contrast, rippling through the otherwise stagnant soundscape like dark, roiling cumulonimbus clouds and brilliant blades of lightning.
Watch Yugen‘s music video for “First Sight” and listen to tracks “Burn It Down” and “SingleCell (feat. Abby Diamond)” below.