Tom Misch

Rock y Pop

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Tom Misch In Concert

The opening track on Tom Misch's 2018 debut album, Geography, is less a song than a sermon. In the ethereal intro to "Before Paris," the first voice we hear is not Misch's, but that of jazz great Roy Hargrove, who appears via an audio-interview excerpt that doubles as a motivational speech: "You have to love this thing, man! You have to love it and breathe it ... it's your morning coffee. It's your food. That's why you become an artist." Accordingly, the British multi-instrumentalist has freely followed his muse wherever it's taken him. While he grew up playing violin and idolizing John Mayer's guitar technique, Misch's formative musical aspirations were more radically shaped by the boundary-blurring jazz of Robert Glasper and the dusty, atmospheric beatscapes of J Dilla. As a teen studying music technology at London's Langley Park School for Boys, Misch dropped his first experiments onto SoundCloud in 2011; three years later, he enrolled in a four-year jazz-guitar program at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, only to drop out after six months to pursue his own DIY vision. 

Through a series of online-only EPs, mixtapes, and remixes, Misch formulated a preternaturally smooth fusion of jazz, hip-hop, and house, becoming the central node in a burgeoning London beat scene that includes perma-chilled rapper Loyle Carner, indie-R&B crooner Jordan Rakei, and frequent collaborator Carmody. But where 2015's buzz-making Beat Tape 2 saw Misch provide the smoky backdrop for a parade of guest vocalists and MCs, Geography sees his own casually soulful voice and mellifluous musicianship take center stage on a set that spans string-sweetened disco ("South of the River"), Stevie Wonder makeovers (an instrumental guitar interpretation of "Isn't She Lovely"), and joyous jazz-funk fusion ("It Runs Through Me," featuring a cameo verse from hip-hop legends De La Soul). The album also confirms Misch's complete evolution from bedroom beatmaker to bona-fide guitar-strapping bandleader, as he heads a six-piece lineup that brings his productions to life with a healthy dose of sax and violins.