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PREMIERE: Key Elements - 'Space'

The Berlin-based Key Elements are back with a new banger where they incorporate UK-inspired vibes in their organically played live trio setup. Rich chords, synth lines and headbopping drums are the ingredients to their sound. There's a new scene bubblin' in Berlin and the Jazzanova collective gives you a look into some of the current acts on their forthcoming Neujazz 2 compilation.

Key Elements is founded by DJ, and producer Marian Tone who wanted to expand his produced sound and move more into live music instead of sample-based. He got introduced to the drummer Waldi by his brother, and the search for the right recipe was completed by Jim Dunloop who covers the bass and keys. Their self-titled album from 2020 was a refreshing release with not a single bad track on there.

It feels like a new chapter of the Berlin scene, considering the rich history in this type of jazz-based hybrid sound with collectives like Jazzanova literally building that scene since the mid '90s. The fact that Key Elements found a home on the Jazzanova-founded label Sonar Kollektiv is a complete match that makes perfect sense. With the Neujazz-series the label is putting rising German artists on the map, such as WAAN, Tutu Amuse, but also shows that Micatone and Jazzanova themselves are still present and release wonderful new music.

Many musicians today are inspired by the current climate of UK jazz artists in some form. When drummer Yussef Dayes and keyboardist Kamaal Williams (also known as Henry Wu), operated briefly as duo Yussef Kamaal in 2016, they inspired an entire generation all over the globe. The UK already has a huge scene at the moment, and more countries are coming up with their version of todays club-inspired organic/electronic hybrid free form of jazz everyday. Key Elements fit right in there with the best, and also manage to bring something new to the table.

Beautiful, warm Fender Rhodes chords set the mood before the drummer Waldi explodes and launches his high tempo groove. There are a couple of short changes into a laidback hip-hop bounce, only to give you a short breath for a few seconds before transporting you back into the jungle-esque drum rhythms. The track stays under the 3 minute mark, but Key Elements clearly doesn't need any longer to blow your mind.

The Neu Jazz 2 compilation will be released via Sonar Kollektiv on October 28th.


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James Brown
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