Ghent based psych jazz collective Compro Oro, are set to release new album ‘Buy The Dip’ on the 2nd September via the groove-obsessed Sdban Ultra label. Having received critical acclaim for their 2020 album ‘Simurg’ – a collaboration with Murat Ertel, co-founder and frontman of Istanbul's cult psychedelic folk band BaBa ZuLa and his singer partner Esma Ertel – the band’s fifth album is less ethno- and more techno-logy, both on a musical and conceptual level.
With tastemaker fans including BBC 6 Music’s Gilles Peterson and Stuart Maconie alongside Jazz FM’s Jez Nelson, the band’s spontaneous quest for psychedelic sounds and jazz grooves has not stopped expanding since their formation in 2014.
After imaginative musical trips to Havana, Mogadishu and Istanbul for previous releases, Compro Oro went looking for sounds and inspirations from other corners of the globe for ‘Buy The Dip’. Synthesizers and electronic effects spice up Compro Oro’s distinctive musical marriage of vibraphones, electric guitars, jazzfunk rhythms, exotic percussions and dubby bass patterns. Band leader and composer Wim Segers created these new compositions often on piano or vibes in a more analogue way, leaving enough room for his band mates to colour each track when fine tuning the song.
Segers was inspired by the world of crypto markets and the specific concept of ‘buying the dip’: bitcoin diggers who play the markets at specific ‘low’ moments to gain higher profits when prices go up again. Are we all reduced to consuming creatures, seeking for nothing more than the thrill of pointless spending and endless profits? It’s a fairly philosophical question – especially for an instrumental album – but it’s key for the punchy and eclectic sounds on ‘Ben Hur’ and ‘Bitcoins’.
Apart from those synths and fx, a fair bunch of neo-noir western vibes sprout up on this album as well – think detuned piano’s, flamenco-like guitars, rattling snare drums, and imminent whistles. Add to that some laid back sunny pop sounds (‘Kayak’), off-hook and swaying Turkish psychedelica (‘Karsilama’) and even some haunted, kraut-ish vocal parts (‘Dungeon’), it’s evident Compro Oro has a musical voice without any equal in Belgium and beyond.
Compro Oro released their first album ‘Transatlantic’ in 2015, an ode to jazz vibraphonist Cal Tjader, an icon of the 1950’s Latin jazz movement. The release received critical acclaim back home, lauded in the press as a drunken mix of Buena Vista Social Club and guitarist Marc Ribot’s, Cubanos Postizos. Subsequent live shows have been called a celebration for the hips, the ear and the soul.
2017 saw the release of ‘Bombarda’, a bold EP that sailed South and East of Cuba, incorporating different ethnic rhythms and melodies in elaborate jams. No palm trees and cocktails in Havana this time, but instead dingy basements and LSD in West African cities. The critically acclaimed ‘Suburban Exotica’ followed in 2019 with ‘Simurg’, released in 2020, earning the band global success.