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Meet the talented Amsterdam-based SMANDEM. on their 'Self-Titled' debut EP

Highly anticipated debut by the fresh four-friend-strong collective SMANDEM. hailing out of Amsterdam is finally here, and it's really a style-merging treat y'all.

SMANDEM. is a collective of creatives, musicians and producers, made up of four main members: Rafael Devante Sinay on guitar, Aäron Bouwman on bass, David Nino van der Grinten on keys and Kick Woudstra on drums. Basically, the story goes that the mandem have met during their studies at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, quickly finding out that they're vibing on the same frequency and are meant to play with each other. They've set out on a journey of jamming, creating, performing, recording and becoming a vanguard in modern day music. The rest is history in the making.

A philosophy that describes one the fundamentals of the band’s music and personalities is:

“There’s often confusion about the meaning of the words tradition and history. The tradition has a history, which we study to keep the tradition alive. The jazz tradition to us means communicating a mixture of styles and cultures. We share a love for present-day popular music and strive to create a sound that combines all of our influences into something relevant.”

Inspired by the likes of Herbie Hancock, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah and Wayne Shorter as well as Travis Scott and Drake, the collective produces a sound that is deeply rooted into jazz tradition, while never restrained to any style boundaries or formal etiquette. They strive forward and explore ways to marry their delicate ability with present-day popular music. With a strong friendship at core, their dynamic live-show feels like it effortlessly accelerates from lush harmonies into colourful mixtures of dense rhythms and fierce improvisation.

The EP 'Self-Titled' has officially dropped last Friday on the Super-Sonic Jazz Records label. It is a 6-tune, 25 minute-long delightful journey packed with pure energy, soul, genre-blurring spirit and enormous skill by these young musicians. Including features by Herbie Hancock flutist Elena Pinderhughes (USA) and Netherlands based talent Pink Oculus, also known as Esperanza Denswil, this release exemplifies best what this free-spirited mandem is up to. This EP is the first taste of their massive talent and we are definitely here for it, looking forward to what's to come. As the boys said in their recent interview with Patta:

What matters to us, is that we get the opportunity to make great music and that we get to reach as many people as possible with that. Music can be a remedy for the soul. In this way we hope to contribute our tiny part to the world.

Produced and mixed by the legend Wiboud Burkens, of the band Liquid Spirits. Oh, and the outstanding artwork for the album is also something else(!) All of the visuals associated with this release were produced under creative direction of the madly talented Eindhoven based visual artist Sebastian Boon a.k.a. segraphy, in collaboration with the designer smokinggurb.


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James Brown
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