Nyctophiliac – Jazz It Up

Written on 03.09.2021 by Andrijan Apostoloski Bushi

Nyctophiliac is the alter-ego of Aleksandar Stojanovski, our co-founder and an excellent trip-hop crafter from Skopje that sound can be explained as he’s the messiah of the dark and gloomy jazz nights since his first debut with “Dark Side of the Mental” back in 2016 until his prior release “Everyday Existence” released last year; however with “Jazz It Up” he unfolds a previously unknown sonic universe to us and decided to shed the beams of lights through the magic of music.

The release is available on Bandcamp from Nyctophiliac’s page, as a free download from Dusted Wax Kingdom, a Varna based label that’s a goldmine for countless of hours of instrumental hip-hop, trip-hop and similar sample-based music dating back from 2007 and additionally is available on all main streaming platforms such as Spotify.

Nycto takes a step up with production and melodics, offering us a very beautifully crafted jazzy trip-hop hour that will leave you with nothing but smiles and warmth to the soul once its gone. And that’s the beautiful progression that is the most obvious with the release. If you’ve been following Nycto’s work from the beginning, you can hear the changes as he shifts from the very darkest corners of doom jazz, to this beautiful sun-kissed release that opened my eyes and made me thirsty for the days when I started listening to trip-hop.

The sunrise came, and the whole release has this special charm that keeps the momentum especially in those early 4 to 6AM hours after the night ends. I know you know – he starts with these beautiful samples whilst kicking it on the beat on Tune In.

Lxve has a warm and jazzy feeling with beautiful chimes that appear throughout the track, and while it progresses it shows gradual but steady development into the mind-state he’s been while producing this LP. The gradual note changes around one-minute mark is a moment that gives me chills, and after that it’s upto you to check it out.

The headliner Jazz It Up tells everything about this release. Define jazz? It must have a beat, and it has to have soul. And the head is head with a reason, it doesn’t disappoint at all, but on the contrary keeps with the momentum that the first two tracks slipped into our ears, playing with a very funky jazz trumpet all throughout the track. The gradual developments sound like they’re straight from the golden age of the jazz, even forgetting at moments that the release and track we’re focused is actually at its core – trip hop.

When we mention trip-hop we usually think of Massive Attack, and the samples they caught from jazz artists are tremendous, only to keep on crafting a completely new genre of electronic music back in the 90s.

And Natural High brings us back to that term trip-hop, instrumental hip-hop with very specific, trippy and a bit off-kilter sampling that exceeds all the barriers in the former, bringing you a new soundscape of enjoyment with ingenious ideas on how to bring and loose sounds from the track. The bells enter, the vocals echo in the background and you’re probably zoned by this point, not even aware how you got there. That’s the trip, that’s trip-hop and this track could be standing with the golden classics if referred to that term specifically.

Relax continues to keep things more on the hip-hop side, as it reminds me of some lo-fi classics such as those from Ras G and alike. Not to compare, because Nyctophiliac sounds just like Nycto – unique, but with influences and music richness enfolded onto the sounds he crafts, just like it should be. This track keeps it minimum and hypnotizes us with warmish repetition of the rhythm that appears from the start.

To Infinity and beyond. A piano rhode rolling slowly and definitely the sun is out there barely visible. A frequency swipe enfolds while the word ‘rhythm’ goes in the background. A melancholic vision of the sunset he crafted, and this track is the tipping point of the whole release.

Continuing with the Universe, a dramatic entry enfolds to a very ‘grimey’ and head-nodding rhythm with a strong bassline and those jazzy elements we’re now familiar with from the first half of the release. Nycto likes to groove this one slow though, and he keeps on playing with this very beautiful piano section and develops his track as it goes on with wild sonic effects that puts us in kind of a trance state of mind.

Street Flava is nostalgia and dirt all over the place. A faster paced rhythm enters with very melodic trumpets and strong break with psychedelic flares throughout the track. It’s like that, come on.

Roll It Up with collaboration of a newcomer producer Rust Cohle that’s also based in Skopje plays with pianos and wraps the whole track around them. This is probably the moment where the darkness of the night goes away, and you’re ready to smoke that last joint saved for the session.

Into the Mind: a very beautiful and mind-shattering xylophone appears to be sampled alongside matching jazz orchestra supporting it in the background. After you’ve smoked that last joint, this is the moment of enjoyment and music tangles with your soul whilst you’re smiling that you’ve reached this point into the night – the very moment it shifts from being one, and the birth of daytime appears all of the sudden. You remember that this very beautiful sun that’s slowly coming out of disguise shines billions at the same moment, and it gives you a natural high smile that will fade out only when you fall asleep.

In general, this is a must-listen that could be used for numerous occasions, as the universe that’s crafted is done with proper precision of a beat-smith that knows exactly what he’s doing. In sound it can be described as rich with Yugoslav jazz spices with very intelligent shifts all throughout, in and out of sonic ideas like some of the very great when the term trip-hop is mentioned; this release is definitely like Massive Attack’s Blue Lines but with the jazz bar put to maximum instead of dub, as the title itself suggests. A bit more on the gentle side of things, and trust me, we’ve all wanted to listen to this side of Nycto and I’m very glad that he delivered without a miss.

Although Nycto showed us funkier and lighter music in his prior “Everyday Existence”, this whole release entangles a universe that’s a light globe radiating in its core and gradually drives us to a calm but trippy auditory experience that lasts almost an hour. Slightly gritty and dirty from the scratches of an old needle that has survived lots of vinyls, but so clear and punchy that the whole spectrum is at your disposal without any cutbacks done from the crafter.

If you like it as well, make sure to support the artist directly and purchase the album through Bandcamp.

Follow Nyctophiliac

Facebook page

All events »Events
ℹ️ We will be back with gonzo reviews as soon as we return to a new normal that is acceptable for the people. Until then, let's listen to some music, what do you think?