"Auriga" by MINTAKAAReview
I'm always most appreciative of being tipped off about interesting local music which I had not previously been aware of, so thank you to Ian Todd (whose latest single as part of Shanghai Hostage, "Convent" in a complete coincidence also came out today) for alerting me to the work of Coventry based Luke Weaver aka MINTAKAA and specifically the new single called "Auriga".
The title relates to the role of a charioteer though as the track is a guitar led instrumental, I'm not sure I'm any better placed to suggest the connection than you are, so maybe we just need to lie back & enjoy the track. And lying back is probably the best attitude in which to experience it as it is a very laid back sort of vibe. I like artists who sit outside obvious single genres & MINTAKAA is a tricky one to wholly describe. "Neo jazz" and "neo soul" are used online so I think we can agree that people consider this a new type of music. One obvious comparison might be with John Connearn whose latest EP ‘Is This Thing On?' we only reviewed last week: both are highly accomplished instrumentalists (especially on guitar) who self record melodic instrumental music with jazz overtones. However Luke, as evidenced here at least, prefers a much slower playing style, more meditative & I can't argue with another expression used of him (and by himself) "astral ambience". Certainly I was impressed by his skills both compositional & performance & the track worked its magic on me this afternoon: it helped my destress after some frustrations & can recommend it. However I'm sure Luke intends his music to be much more than a therapeutic resource for stressed reviewers & I can well imagine how this would work well in the right venue, with the right audience and the right time of night, which is to say quite late. This has a nocturnal vibe to it & so possibly the title relates better to the constellation of that name than the Roman occupation. At any rate, however close or not I am in that respect, what I have no doubt about it is that this is a highly talented musician whom I am now aware of & so I repeat my gratitude.
I gather Sophie Hadlum of Shanghai Hostage (and of course a fine solo artist too) will be collaborating with MINTAKAA soon so I'm sure that will add further perspectives on our understanding of his work.