It’s difficult to pin down Seattle’s High Pulp. In just a few short years, this instrumental band has dabbled in everything from avant-garde jazz to beat-driven R&B to psychedelic synthesiser-heavy electronica.
Today they are thrilled to announce their signing to ANTI- Records with the release of “Motel Money” feat. Takuya Kuroda, a song that features deep-in-the-pocket drums, lush synth textures, cinematic horns, and the trumpet stylings of featured guest artist Takuya Kuroda. Kuroda’s experimental blend of post-bop and soul-jazz is the ideal complement to High Pulp’s bedrock on this track.
“I remember the first time I heard Rising Son [by Kuroda] back in 2014 when he joined Blue Note [Records] and it was this immediate magnetic reaction,” drummer Bobby Granfelt said. “I thought it was such a fresh modern take on jazz that stuck one foot firmly into hip-hop while simultaneously honouring bebop-era roots. Takuya has since become even more experimental – and he has proven that he is not averse to risk-taking – which adds to my respect and admiration for him as an artist. I know the rest of the band feels the same way, and I think when you put that all together, it’s no surprise that Takuya immediately popped into my head as a collaborator with High Pulp.”
High Pulp’s story begins in 2017 when the band hosted a weekly jam session at Seattle’s historic jazz club The Royal Room. The venue is owned by Wayne Horvitz, who was a member of the legendary avant jazz group Naked City alongside John Zorn and Bill Frisell. The energy from these sessions became the high-octane infusion that led to their debut album, 2018’s Bad Juice. In that same timeframe, High Pulp’s orbit collided with the likes of Shaina Shepherd, Falon Sierra & JusMoni – three R&B artists & vocalists with whom High Pulp collaborated to co-write the Light Fix EP (November 2019).
High Pulp followed up those initial releases by signing with UK-based label KingUnderground to create a three volume work titled Mutual Attraction. Each volume in the series consists of three cover tracks centred on a theme. Mutual Attraction Vol. 1 represents American free jazz from the 1970s, featuring “Pulp”-ified covers of Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders and Sun Ra. Mutual Attraction Vol. 2 expands on that theme to feature international jazz of the 1980s by Casiopea, Cortex, and Arthur Verocai. The third and final entry in this series – Mutual Attraction Vol. 3 – will arrive on wax this fall for Record Store Day (November 26, 2021).