Producer. Engineer. Multi-instrumentalist. Singer? Jesse Fischer holds no bars with his latest Soul Cycle release. ‘Retro Future’ is the manifestation of Fischer’s vision. A mix of acoustic, electric, and electronic instruments, the album ranges from original compositions to covers, and from old-school to the future. If there is one take-away from this release, it is that you can not underestimate the power and vision of true artists. These musicians bring it. Period. Take a listen through and you’ll experience a wide range of emotions and sounds while being imparted with a sense of appreciation for how these artists manage to dig deep in performances that will not fade away anytime soon.

Check out ‘Retro Future’ streaming below with a track-by-track analysis by Jesse Fischer.

Retro Future (whole album stream)

Tanqueray & Tonic

Composed and arranged by Jesse Fischer
Jesse Fischer > rhodes, moog, organ, additional keyboards, tambourine
Brian Hogans > alto sax, flute
Jean Caze > trumpet
Corey King > trombone
David Linaburg > guitar
Solomon Dorsey > bass
Gabriel Wallace > drums
Shawn Banks > percussion
Jesse Fischer, Rachel Eckroth, Solomon Dorsey, David Cutler > handclaps

“This melody came to me pretty much fully-formed. Once I added in the bassline and groove for the C and D sections, it made me think of being out in the park during a lazy summertime afternoon. And what better way to celebrate summer than with my favorite cocktail, Tanqueray and tonic?”

Moon Ship

Composed and arranged by Jesse Fischer
Jesse Fischer > piano, rhodes, keyboard and drum programming
Brian Hogans > alto sax, flute
Jean Caze > flugelhorn
Solomon Dorsey > bass
Gabriel Wallace > drums
Shawn Banks > percussion

“This tune started out as a simple chord progression that came to me at a Blues Alley sound-check in D.C. The piano was freshly tuned and these chords were the first thing that came out when I sat down. The rest of the tune pretty much wrote itself between sound-check and the performance. About a year later, I programmed an electronic version of the song in my hotel room after overdosing on Hudson Mohawke. The final version here is some kind of hybrid between the live band and electronic versions. The melody seemed very optimistic and almost anthemic and made me think of what it must have been like to witness the first moon landing.”

Aquarius (feat. Rachel Eckroth)

Words by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, music by Galt McDermot
Arranged by Jesse Fischer with additional arrangement by Solomon Dorsey.
Rachel Eckroth > vocals
Jesse Fischer > piano, organ, juno, additional keyboards, shaker
Brian Hogans > flute
Solomon Dorsey > bass
Gabriel Wallace > drums
Shawn Bansk > percussion

“Two things converged to inspire me to cover this song. One, “Let the Sunshine In” was always my friend Mai’s ringback tone, and I loved hearing her phone ring for that reason. Two, I had to play “Aquarius” a few times at weddings and fell in love with the tune. I don’t go in for astrology but I do believe we’re on the cusp of a new era of harmony and understanding. I really think we’re going to see some changes in the near future! I called my good friend Rachel the night before our first studio session to find out if she knew the song. She did, and the rest is history.”

Digital Savanna

Composed and arranged by Jesse Fischer
Jesse Fischer > rhodes, organ, kalimba, melodica, glockenspiel, additional keyboards
Brian Hogans > flute, alto sax
Jean Caze > trumpet
Corey King > trombone
David Linaburg > guitar
Solomon Dorsey > bass
Gabriel Wallace > drums
Shawn Banks > percussion

“This tune started out as a hypnotic bassline that came to me in the shower after a few days of listening to Oumou Sangare. Then the melody flew in over the bassline, and the chord changes glided between the cracks, and pretty soon we had a song. The title was inspired by an article I read describing how large parts of Africa had completely skipped over traditional phone service and the power grid, and went straight to cell phones and solar power.”

Cyberphunk

Composed and arranged by Jesse Fischer
Jesse Fischer > piano, moog, additional keyboard and drum programming, tambourine, cabasa
Brian Hogans > alto sax
Jean Caze > trumpet
Solomon Dorsey > moog bass
Gabriel Wallace > drums
Shawn Banks > percussion

“This one started out as two fragmented ideas that seemed to contrast in an interesting way. The melody is ripped off of a Brad Mehldau tune from the 90’s (anyone know which one?) The mood I was going for here was inspired by William Gibson’s cyberpunk novels and this sci-fi computer game called Spectre that I played endlessly in high school.”

Electric Ladyland (feat. Chris Turner)

Words and music by Jimi Hendrix
Arranged by Jesse Fischer
Chris Turner > vocals
Jesse Fischer > rhodes, organ, moog
David Linaburg > guitar
Solomon Dorsey > bass
Gabriel Wallace > drums
Shawn Banks > percussion
Chris Turner, Jeehae Fischer, Jesse Fischer > handclaps

“One of my favorite Hendrix songs. I was thinking about songs that capture the spirit and magic of our electronic age and this one came to mind. Chris has a phenomenal tone and phrasing and creating this version together was a pleasure.”

Gotham Underground

Composed and arranged by Jesse Fischer
Jesse Fischer > piano, juno, rhodes, drum programming
Brian Hogans > alto sax
Jean Caze > trumpet
Solomon Dorsey > bass
Gabriel Wallace > drums
Shawn Banks > percussion

“The title here evokes not only the labyrinth of the New York City subway system, but also the creative energy of both the underground hip-hop scene in the 90’s and the basement jam sessions of the late 40’s that spawned The Birth of the Cool.”

Midnight Dancer

Composed by Jesse Fischer and Josh David
Arranged by Jesse Fischer
Jesse Fischer > rhodes, moog, juno, shaker, triangle
Brian Hogans > alto sax, flute
Jean Caze > trumpet
David Linaburg > guitar
Solomon Dorsey > bass
Gabriel Wallace > drums
Shawn Banks > percussion

“Two different jam sessions about a year apart spawned the A and B parts of this tune, and somehow in my head they started fitting together as a whole. Jeehae gave the song its title, which I think fits the tribal feel perfectly.”

Keep the Faith

Composed and arranged by Gabriel Wallace, Jesse Fischer, Brian Hogans, and Jean Caze
Jesse Fischer > moog, organ, glockenspiel
Jean Caze > flugelhorn
Brian Hogans > rhodes
David Linaburg > guitar
Solomon Dorsey > key bass
Gabriel Wallace > drums
Shawn Banks > percussion
Jesse Fischer, Solomon Dorsey, Chris Rob, Rachel Eckroth > choir vocals

“A truly collaborative effort. This tune started as a chord progression that Gabe brought into the studio about three years ago. We had played around with it at various sound checks over the years, but it never developed into anything. Then in the final rehearsal before our studio sessions for this record, I started playing it and the melody and outro section grew organically. “Keep the Faith” is Gabe’s title, reflecting wisdom from his dad.”

Landslide

Words and music by Stevie Nicks
Arranged by Jesse Fischer
Jesse Fischer > piano, vocoder vocals, key bass, additional keyboards and drum programming, drums, shaker

“The album was completely recorded but I felt like it was missing one element — something that could tie it together and at the same time bridge to whatever comes next for me. I also wanted to do something personally meaningful, and Stevie Nick’s bittersweet song about growing older, being scared to let go of what’s familiar, and being afraid of change, resonated with me. I had asked a few different vocalists to sing it but in the end I decided that since the message was so personal, it had to come directly from me; hence me singing through the vocoder. This recording embodies its own message, too, because I have never put out a song with me singing and playing all the instruments. But you have to embrace the challenge of changing times or be left behind.”

Retro Future comes out on ObliqSound 10/30/12. Pre-Order it on iTunes or Amazon. Also check out Jesse Fischer and Soul Cycle over at their website here.

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