Includes bonus track 'Ou Est La Piscine' and additional instrumental versions of 4 tracks, exclusive to Bandcamp.
'Petrichor' is the debut album from Auxiliary Phoenix - producer and musician hailing from Carlow, Ireland, whose previous releases have explored wonky beats, UK bass music, experimental hip hop, rap and jazz fusion. His inimitable, sophisticated style has been shown love throughout the music world, from icons such as Thundercat (for a solo bass piece) and Mike Gao (for 'BRB' on Power Cosmic EP) to grime visionary Murlo and RTÉ 2FM DJ Peter Curtin. He has also worked on projects with the likes of celebrated innovators of their respective scenes, Divine Styler and Jon Anderson of Yes.
On 'Petrichor', Auxiliary Phoenix delves fully into the inspirations from classic 70's groups like Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever and Soft Machine, along with contemporary acts such as Yussef Kamaal, Hiatus Kaiyote, Thundercat and Robert Glasper. These influences are filtered through his approach to hip hop production, a self-produced and self-engineered home recording aesthetic, and instrumental skills and inclinations learned from the years performing with his trio live.
The 12 tracks that make up 'Petrichor' were whittled down from a batch of 50 total songs recorded for the project between 2015 and 2020. While all of the instruments on the album are performed by Auxiliary Phoenix, he is joined for 5 of the album's tracks by vocalists Senita Appiakorang (X Collective / Shookrah), L. W. Clay Sr., Infinity Calling, and previous collaborators James McDermott and Knowah. These vocal tracks tilt the sound towards progressive R&B, with lush harmonies sat atop experimental rhythms. The remaining 8 tracks make full use of the instrumental palette to playfully explore melody, harmony and rhythm within a modern jazz hip-hop form.
Having no formal jazz or musical training, being self-taught on instruments through beat-making and performing with rock bands, Auxiliary Phoenix presents a novel and fresh perspective on jazz fusion and R&B with 'Petrichor'.
released May 28, 2021
All music written, performed, recorded and mixed by James Strain except:
Vocals, melody & lyrics for 'Room For Healing' by Senita Appiakorang
Vocals, melody & lyrics for 'Morning Light' by L. W. Clay Sr.
Vocals & melody for 'Second' by Infinity Calling
Vocals & melody for 'Slight Breeze' by Knowah
Vocals for 'April Showers' by James McDermott