Guitarist Rez Abbasi is back at it with a new album coming October 6th on Whirlwind Recordings. Unfiltered Universe brings back Abbasi’s South Asian-inspired supergroup, Invocation, featuring saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, pianist Vijay Iyer, bassist Johannes Weidenmueller, and drummer Dan Weiss, as well as guest cellist Elizabeth Mikhael for their third album of a trilogy exploring South Asian musical universes.
The title Unfiltered Universe refers to the way in which a lifetime of globe-spanning influences were allowed to emerge directly from Abbasi’s subconscious into his music. “The idea was to operate from my intuition first while creating these compositions and then later use the thought process to manipulate the music, he says. “It’s unprocessed and unfiltered, shining a light on the universe within me. It really brought the fruits of my experiences to the forefront.”
For this album, Abbasi likens his creative process to Jackson Pollock’s action painting. “I wanted to let the influences hit the empty canvas and allow that to speak to me as opposed to having a foundational idea of what I was going to create,” Abbasi explains. “I didn’t want to impose preconceived rhythms or ideas; I wanted to get the essence and energy of what I’ve taken away from playing with Carnatic musicians and dancers, and to tie that in with everything I’ve done previously.”
You can stream the first single from the album, “Propensity”, below and pre-order the album on Bandcamp.
Sébastien Hélary co-founded Nextbop in 2009 with the objective of introducing modern jazz music to a younger generation of fans. Aside from music, his other main obsession is food, particularly ramen and other Japanese delicacies.