Visitors debut with a singles collection and a live excursionFriday January 26, 2018 02:22 pm EST
No matter what fate has in store for South Broad Street, the gritty Downtown arts district continues fostering some of Atlanta’s most vibrant and creative music. One of the more engaging gems to sprout from the neighborhood is Visitors, a loose but fruitful collective that’s honing fugue-like psychedelic jazz and krautrock rhythms and excursions. The group orbits around Jared Pepper and Dan Bailey’s Broad Street Visitors Center recording studio; its core lineup features a mix of stunningly creative locals, including bass player Bailey (Carey, Faun and a Pan Flute) and flautist/guitarist Pepper, along with flautist Rasheeda Ali, pianist Gage Gilmore (Cosmic Trigger), synth player Jeremi Johnson (10th Letter), and percussionist Kenito Murray (Atlanta Brass Connection). There’s still plenty of room for guests: Chris Childs (vibraphone), Quinn Masonry (saxophone), Saira Raza (cello, lyrics, vocals), Dallas Dawson (drums), and more names are sprinkled throughout the group’s first release, a singles collection titled Anticipation that surveys a slew of genres and sounds.
“Origami” riffs into the celestial plane with a jazzy mix of kosmische pop. “Where” is a freewheeling screed of dark and mesmerizing psychosis in the vein of Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew or Can’s Future Days, while “Howard The Coward” offers a disfigured blend of beautifully noirish and deadpan dread. For how loosely Visitors operate, Anticipation is a taut and focused statement that demands to be heard.
The group also released a companion cassette, titled The Optimism of Concern, featuring an exploratory sidelong opus that captures the Visitors live group, adding depth to the the group’s variety of sources, culminating in gritty but gorgeous urban jazz inflections. In fact, the 34-minute title track blends jazz, dub, and spacey ambience into a living, breathing whole that fusess each disparate influence together perfectly. Keep an eye out for a new tape to arrive, titled Nature Documentary (Null Zone), due out March 3 when Visitors play the Earl. ★★★★☆