EP Review: Los Padres – Skobeloff

Los Padres are a London-based act who create jazz that is as experimental as it is groovy. Their new EP Skobeloff is their first as a trio and, over five tracks, give you a taste of what they have to offer.

By Graeme Smith

Feature Photo by Alberto Romano

The EP kicks off with its title track, featuring a laidback percussive beat and lively horns. But just as you’re about to pigeon-hole Los Padres’ sound as traditional jazz they flip the script, introducing electronic elements that wouldn’t be out of place on the soundtrack of a cool indie video game. Then, before you know it, there’s a breakdown into acoustic strings. It’s a strong start that keeps you guessing what will come next.

What does come next is Hollow, a track that brings the party with funky bass notes and staccato horns. It canters along, growing familiar but never losing its edge, and represents Los Padres at perhaps their most accessible.

Track three Samaritans takes things in a new direction with complex and infectious electronic noodling overlaid with brass. Midway through there’s a tempo changing and its bright feeling transforms into a chilled one before things build again to an intense finish.

Supernova feels like an antidote, starting slow, deliberate and traditional. Cymbals flash, sax meditates and percussion wanders. There is the slightest touch of electronica, holding onto that thread that sets Los Padres apart. It’s a track that rewards the patient. At its halfway point it comes to life with an unexpectedly ethereal atmosphere.

Previously-released single Kimchi closes out the EP. Maximising the electronica, its richly psychedelic and textured in its approach. It almost feels like a revisit of all the elements heard through the EP so far, a timely reminder of what a fresh and innovative sound Los Padres have managed to curate.

Formed in 2013 by Alessandro La Barbera and Alberto Voglino, Los Padres became a trio with the introduction of saxophonist Marco Marotta into the lineup. On the evidence of Skobeloff, it was an inspired addition. More please!

You can check out Skobeloff below.