Nostalgia 77, aka Ben Lamdin, first burst onto the scene with his heavy, new funk based sound in 2002. His hard work and prolific creation process has led to the release of many outstandingly high quality albums in a relatively short amount of time, containing a diverse and varied fusion of styles and influences from more mellow, solemn, moody yet beautiful offerings to more upbeat, heavy funk, hip-hop based beats mixed with dusty old jazz, obscuro funk and psych bits and pieces. This driven sound spectrum of audio offerings led to the development into the full 2007 nu-jazz orchestrated release of ‘Everything Under The Sun’ in March 2007. This hard work ethic, gifted writing talent and dedication to his music contributed towards Ben winning the ‘Jazz Album of the Year’ award at the ‘Gilles Peterson BBC Worldwide Awards’ in 2006.
The success of this release led Lamdin to a style he describes as “a combination of soul and jazz composition with computer based production techniques”. Coming from producing hip hop style beats he had always heard snippets of jazz tracks he loved, so the fuller musical expression of actually making his own jazz music was inevitable.
His cover version of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” with Alice Russell has also helped bring his mission to a wider audience. Aiming for an edgy sound whilst continuing to search for a more personal expression, Nostalgia 77’s influences include free and spiritual jazz as well as 60’s funk and soul and Afro sounds.
2008 saw the release of Nostalgia 77’s One Offs, Remixes & B Sides album – an eclectic and stunning collection spanning jazz, hip hop, electronica, funk and more – which has gained dazzling reviews. A host of inspired collaborations on this double CD include guest vocals by eminent jazz diva Beth Rowley and remixes from the likes of Bonobo. Nostalgia 77 recorded a Maida Vale session for Gilles Peterson’s Radio 1 Worldwide show in May. His collaborative work last year extended to producing the debut album by new Tru Thoughts signing Lizzy Parks, entitled ‘Raise The Roof’. A heady combination of jazz, soul and cinematic soundscapes, Lamdin’s production on this album perfectly complements Lizzy’s unique talent as a singer songwriter.
The next Nostalgia 77 project, produced along with close contemporary and collaborator Riaan Vosloo, was an intriguing collaboration with bona fide legends of contemporary jazz and avant-garde experimental music, Keith and Julie Tippett. Entitled ‘Nostalgia 77 Sessions featuring Keith And Julie Tippett’, the album came out in April 2009; it is a collection of beautiful original material that spans blues, jazz and soul music, threaded through with experimental flourishes, and represents a journey of musical discovery for all the artists involved. Lamdin and Vosloo also co-produced the second album by Lizzy Parks, released in June 2009, and are presiding over a handful of new releases on their co-founded Impossible Ark label, including the Nostalgia 77 side-project Skeletons, a critically acclaimed collection of African Jazz inspired pieces which came out in March 2010.
Having spent much of the last few years producing albums for Impossible Ark (Sara Mitra, Jeb Loy Nichols, Skeletons) the long-awaited fourth studio Nostalgia 77 album, ‘The Sleepwalking Society’, featuring the vocals of German singer Josa Peit, is out March 2011 on Tru Thoughts.
Photography by Adam Van Bunnens – www.Bunnens.com
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