This is an entry in an ongoing series for 303 Magazine, which will provide a range of local album reviews. It is our intention to highlight the talents of local musicians, whether veterans to the industry or newcomers. Like the bands, the album can be fresh or something we just haven’t had the power to take off repeat in the past few months. Check out previous entries in the series here.
Just in time for the spooky celebrations, SoDown officially released a four-track EP titled Jet Black during his SoHeavy Halloween Masquerade Ball on October 31. The aptly-named release features four bass-heavy tracks that span a fast but jam-packed 13 minutes. Often dubbed “SoHeavy,” SoDown’s heavier tracks are a stark but well-executed contrast to some of his more melodic and funk-focused selections on The Journey and A Different Path.
The Boulder-based producer and saxophonist SoDown held nothing back with his latest release — there’s barely a second to catch your breath during Jet Black. The cover art features an eerie veiled gentleman in a trench coat standing in front of a vintage car and surrounded by smoke, and it’s truly a stunning representation of the feeling this EP facilitates. Starting with “Jet Black” featuring TruFeelz, the EP immediately begins with a car engine starting and a heavy build of anticipation following shortly after. The listener is dropped into the middle of classic villain takeover, with a muffled voice chanting intimidating phrases like, “G-shit, ain’t no fuckboy phase me.” The anticipation builds to a final drop that sneaks, “Yeah, when I pull up in the jet black” in before dropping the bass and leaving a mess of wubs and wobbles throughout the track.
“Down Low” follows the dark opening track and wastes no time building up for the drop. The entirety of the song falls into the classic head-banging category by delivering a consistent supply of dark bass vibrations that shake the listener to the core.
The third selection “Stand Up,” is (you guessed it) a bass-loaded collaboration with Denver’s own Homemade Spaceship. Ehren River Wright (SoDown) held off on the saxophone for this EP, which is normally a staple for his sound. While the recognizable horns are nowhere to be heard in this release, listeners can expect the same level of unmatched talent in Jet Black that Wright delivers in all of his releases. The EP finished with “I Got Dat,” where SoDown leaves everything on the table, making this easily the heaviest collection of songs SoDown’s released to-date.
It’s clear Wright is taking more risks with his signature style and continues to experiment with different distinctions in both his discography and live performances. In previous tours, SoDown has implemented an “Adventure Key” with three different symbols that signify if the tour stop will be SoHeavy, SoChill or SoGroovy focused. Regardless of the direction SoDown goes, he always seems to impress with near-perfect execution. We’re looking forward to his next venture, regardless of where he plans to take us.
As a Boulder resident, SoDown frequently performs at Denver and various Colorado venues and has a handful of Colorado-based shows planned for the remainder of the year. You can make the trek to catch his next Colorado appearance in Durango on December 13. Listen to his latest release, Jet Black and let us know what you think in the comments below.