NOT TiGHT- DOMi & JD BECK – A Smooth But Frenetic Set To Bring Jazz Fusion 

This is a debut album from the artistic duo which is undeniably accomplished, a smooth but frenetic set that bring jazz fusion in a brilliant to a new hyper-brained generation.

The allure of a jazz sensation is always enticing. French keyboardist Domi Degalle, 22, and American drummer JD Beck, 18, are two of them. After their YouTube debut three years ago, they gradually proceeded from fanciful covers of Kendrick Lamar, MF Doom, and ‘Giant Steps’ (hilariously rebranded as ‘Giant Nuts’) to the first signees of Anderson Paak. ‘s label, APESHIT INC. 

The galactic ‘genius’ path is enough to make anyone doubtful – after all, extraordinary musicianship doesn’t certainly bring compelling songwriting (cough cough, Jacob Collier). But an elongated wait with patience and expectations, NOT TiGHT is a solid showcase of the pair’s substantial chemistry.

For the best ever, this duo was genuinely impressive in it spending hours they present finessing their craft. This album demonstrates how effortlessly the pair can musically converse without ego clashes. Beck’s prompt drumming approaches Aphex Twin levels of insanity, minus the programming. Meanwhile, Degalle casually provides rapid-fire harmonic fluctuations and riffs – all at an awe-inspiring 160bpm. Along with ‘SNiFF’ and its title track, it’s quick and calm to see why Degalle and Beck have been addressed as experts.

The album has mind-blowing highlights that lie within the guest features that bring life into the pair’s instrumentals, deciphering their zoomer humour and temperament with more lucidity. ‘BOWLiNG’, for instance, is a wholesome piece convoyed by the equally phenomenal Thundercat, whilst Herbie Hancock’s vocoder croons on ‘MOON’ soar over their frenzied harmony changes.

One of the biggest worries was whether NOT TiGHT would become another soulless, senseless portfolio. Fortunately, the pair have given enough sense to offer palette cleansers to different degrees of interest. ‘SMiLE’ is a negligent, lo-fi-inspired track whose gusty sound opposes its quiet time signature changes, oscillating between 4/4, 7/4, and 5/5. ‘DUKE’, otherwise, is a lethargic, simple track that’s quickly elapsed amongst the tracklist.

Domi & JD Beck and Anderson .Paak, photo by Tehillah de Castro

It’s ‘TAKE A CHANCE’. However, that’s easily the best track on the album. Anderson Paak. Flows extraordinary over a subtle 7/4 beat, excruciatingly prodding the ins and outs behind his emotional fences and self-destructive inclinations. It’s fastened by an expressive appeal sung by Degalle and Beck: “Hold on, just let go of who I used to be / Right now, I need you to take a chance on me”. It’s a breath-taking exercise in empathy, though its plea comes more from its guest.

NOT TiGHT overall just survives the overpowering hype that’s constructed. However, it’s not that pioneering, game-changing project which some may expect it to be. Degalle and JD Beck are artistic enough to pull off their captivating style, and they undoubtedly have a lot of fun doing so. 

What’s the best about it is without the visuals, you might forget Beck’s a human being and not a drum machine. The drum-key clashes aren’t as cool when you can’t see them nodding or smiling at each other across the room. This caricature successfully conveys that telepathic synergy and friendship work as two humans knotted in such deep sync they dissolve into a single musical organism.

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