Julie Campiche Quartet, You Matter Review
by Nolan DeBuke
Julie Campiche is back with her Quartet to release their sophomore album titled You Matter. The Geneva, Switzerland-based experimental jazz harpist, vocalist, composer, and electronic music producer brings another unexpected and emotive album with the harp at its core. You Matter has a message of themes of climate change, refugee crisis, patriarchy, and human identity for our dark and troubled times. The Quartet, comprised of Campiche (harp), Manu Hagmann (bass), Clemens Kuratle (drums), and Leo Fumagalli (saxophone), realize seven compositions that transcend technical complexity while above all, honoring the beauty of music itself.
“Aquarius” conjures the song’s energy from our surroundings with its ethereal sounds. The arco bass figure is further expanded upon by a haunting tenor saxophone melody. With moody percussion, Campiche’s harp moves from acoustic to electronically enhanced hues as the groove and melody are established. The ensemble members effortlessly work together to create a sound stage that is meaningful and expressive, pulling us in with their imagination and stimulating ours as well.
“Lies” opens with harp and saxophone, building with cymbals and percussion rolls until a Latin groove is established. The rhythm section’s dynamic groove is buoyant as Campiche’s solo is filled with energy and syncopated rhythms. Each section is contrasted by atmospheric segues leading to the next solo as the energy is again built. The ensemble embraces jazz, classical, Middle Eastern, and electronica influences, making for a stirring and varied listening experience.
You Matter is a series of developing compositions touching many atmospheres and dynamic contrasts. The ensemble is adaptive and fearless in taking their time in developing a mood or theme, wherever it may lead. Campeche’s music is well designed and built on a mutual rapport to yield a distinctive sound in the jazz scene encompassing our world today in both sounds and emotions.