If you were to take one of Iglooghost’s more schizophrenic beats, chop and screw it, and add a killer sax riff, you’d have Moon Hooch’s latest single, “Bass Horns,” produced with YouTube musician and personality Andrew Huang. The jazz/dance trio from New York, known for jittering, EDM-influenced saxophone compositions (and for one of the best NPR Tiny Desk Concerts of all time) have not failed to deliver, and “Bass Horns” feels like an interesting and new way to take their unique jazz fusion sound.
Low baritone sax notes kick off the single, counterpointed by a fluttering repetitive flute arpeggio. Huang’s electronic production gives the single a vaguely ethereal vibe, without compromising the gritty, street-based production that’s been a hallmark of Moon Hooch’s sound. Think Nujabes, RJD2, or even Cavelight-era Blockhead, when trying to quantify Huang’s style of production. And it works! Two markedly different styles of music, Huang’s lo-fi-esque beat-making and Moon Hooch’s grinding, high-energy sax both combine to make a single better than the sum of its parts.
Already a non-traditional jazz group, Moon Hooch has pushed the envelope even further with “Bass Horns,” and it’ll be interesting to see where they go from here. I personally wouldn’t be opposed to an album with Huang, or another contemporary producer. Noted Def Jux producer El-P created a jazz-fusion instrumental album (“High Water,” check it out), as did indie producer Blockhead (“Music by Cavelight”). I’m a fan of some of the ways hip-hop and rap artists push the boundaries of their craft to include live studio bands (Denzel Curry’s collab with Badbadnotgood comes to mind) and styles of music that often aren’t thought to be congruous with the current rap scene.
All this is to say that I’m a fan of the new Moon Hooch. It’s fun, it’s high energy, and, as always, it’s genre-bending. The boys from Brooklyn have done it again, with or without a traffic cone for a mute. (Look it up.)