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Monday Mix Tape: Seb Rochford On Why It's Not Just Jazz
The Quietus , September 27th, 2010 10:11

Hey! It's not all jazz! Seb Rochford of Polar Bear and Acoustic Ladyland makes us a Monday mix tape and talks about collaborating with Jyager...

Seb Rochford's mixtape Sept 2010 by polar bear music

Scroll to the foot of the feature for the tracklisting...

This is some of my favourite music... [the best] I have heard recently that inspires me, moves me and makes we want to move.

It all feels to me like people expressing themselves in a pure way; [it feels like] how they see the world.

I hope you will enjoy them too.

I know there is no jazz on this one but... to me, music I listen to is just music that I connect with. I grew up in a mixed culture family of twelve who all love music, so for me, maybe different influences have always been the only normal way.

When I was in Rough Trade one day I picked up a CD by someone called Jyager. I'd never heard of him before but just had a good feeling... and this feeling has sometimes led me to some of my favourite bands so decided to go with it without even listening to it first.

When I did hear it I really loved it and one of the things that struck me was his honesty. I felt that as well as expressing events that happened in his life, he also expressed what he thought about them; the conclusions he had come to, which always seemed to have a positivity to them. All of this gave his music extra depth to me. Then I got a free mixtape of his that expanded my knowledge of him even more.

At the time I was doing a remix for Acoustic Ladyland that Pete [Wareham] had tried to get an MC to write lyrics for but it didn't work out... and that's why I wrote to Jyager.

When I sent him the track he said he was into it and sent me an amazing vocal on top of it. When we played the tune live with him, we were really blown away by his energy and the way it was so natural to him to play with a live band. He really listens to everything going on around him.

After that I asked him to do a live radio improv session for Late Junction and Chartwell Dutiro and [Eno collaborator] Leo Abrahams and he was amazing again. After this I really had the feeling that his openness as a person meant that he would always grow into any situation he entered and that he would always be able to create something fresh, which is something that I aspire to.

Because I listened to hip hop and grime for so long it was really a big thing for me to have met an MC that inspired me so much as a person and artist. I wanted to keep making music with him so I started sending him remixes I had made of Polar Bear tunes and we built from there. After a couple of months we had this album. Now we're learning how to play these tracks live and are super excited about where we can take them.

I think the reason why I have liked hip hop and grime for so long is that I find it very intense and expressive. My favourite MCs are ones that are not afraid to say whatever they want and ones that change as their life changes. I feel this is very honest and creative music that inspires me for its realness as well as its amazing and innovative beats.

At the moment there seems to be a lot of people against the promotion and airplay of this kind of music but to me - someone who lives in london - this music is incredibly important and shouldn't be ignored by the mainstream. Society as a whole can only benefit from people being allowed to freely express their experience of life - whether you agree with them or not. This increases the potential of everyone.


Polar Bear, along with with Jyager are releasing a mini-album called Common Ground on October 25. More details here, here and here.

Innovative jazz maven Sebastian Rochford and London-based, Portugal-born rapper Jyager Maktwist have teamed up to produce a 25-minute mini-album, constructed almost entirely from samples of Peepers and raps. Common Ground takes on another dimension when Jyager performs live with Polar Bear at their two shows at November’s London Jazz Festival, in the unorthodox surroundings of the Westminster Reference Library. The LJF shows come at the end of an extensive UK tour - see all dates below.

Sat 18 Sep Richmond Jazz Festival, RICHMOND, North Yorkshire
Thu 30 Sep The Wardrobe, LEEDS
Fri 1 Oct Band On The Wall, MANCHESTER
Sat 2 Oct Colston Hall, BRISTOL
Sat 9 Oct E.M. Forster Theatre, TONBRIDGE
Sun 10 Oct Warwick Arts Centre, COVENTRY
Tue 12 Oct Komedia, BRIGHTON
Fri 15 Oct Norwich Arts Centre, NORWICH
Sat 16 Oct The Kazimier, LIVERPOOL
Sun 17 Oct The Tunnels, ABERDEEN
Mon 18 Oct The Voodoo Rooms, EDINBURGH
Sun 31 Oct Academy, OXFORD
Sat 13 Nov London Jazz Festival, Westminster Reference Library, LONDON (with Jyager)
Sun 14 Nov London Jazz Festival, Westminster Reference Library, LONDON (with Jyager)

Seb Rochford's Monday Mixtape

Young Fresh - 'Fed Up' (DJ Khaled)
Warpaint - 'Elephants'
Daughters - The Virgin
Bear In Heaven - 'You Do You'
Wildbirds And Peacedrums - 'The Course'
Shortstuff - 'Naughty Step'
Dot Rotten - 'Go Down'
Afrika Bambaataa - 'Zulu Nation Throwdown'
Joe Black - 'North London State Of Mind'
Gunna Dee - 'Real To Death'
Dubbel Dutch - 'Throwback'
Jammer - 'Max Not Minimum'
Lindstrom And Christabelle - 'High And Low'