Self-taught pianist and accomplished producer Alfa Mist has shared a new video for Retainer, the first song released from his forthcoming album, Structuralism.
Directed by Merlin Ettore, the video uses a single camera to capture the interaction of the musicians in the studio, showing how three quartets were assembled to perform the track’s three distinct passages. The song begins in a melancholic hip-hop mood, Alfa Mist using a Rhodes-like patch on the Yamaha CP88 keyboard and trumpeter Johnny Woodham harnessing a mute to thicken the sense of jazz noir. As the groove lightens and Alfa switches to some staccato chords, Woodham removes the mute and kicks down the wah pedal for a fearsome solo.
A beautiful, string quartet interlude bridges the electric and largely acoustic passages, allowing Alfa Mist time to set up at the acoustic piano for the song’s muscular closing passage.
Kaya Thomas-Dyke, who plays electric bass in the first passage, has once again designed Alfa Mist’s album artwork. Structuralism will arrive carrying her visual work on 26th April, shortly before Alfa Mist’s return to Manchester for a set at Gorilla on Friday 17th May. Thomas-Dyke is a featured artist on the album’s second track, while vocalist Jordan Rakei contributes to the closing cut, Door.
The new album follows Alfa Mist’s contribution to Yussef Dayes’ Love is the Message last year – the track which got the ball rolling for Dayes’ Cashmere Thoughts label. Like Dayes, Alfa Mist is also working on his own label, with Structuralism representing the second LP on his Sekito label.