The Cutting Room
44 E 32nd St.
New York, US 10016
November 2, 2022 | 9pm
The genre-bending jazz quintet is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a show in New York City at The Cutting Room.
OZMA, the impetuous drummer Stéphane Scharlé’s quintet, is back with its 7th album, HYPERLAPSE. It is a captivating and jubilant roadmap dedicated to the ten cities visited by the group during an incredible tour in 2018 which earned OZMA the distinction of being one of the most exported French artists along with Youn Sun Nah and Tigran Hamasyan («Succès Export 2018»).
56 concerts in 13 countries, from Europe and Africa to Asia, a year-long world tour which was overwhelming for the composer Stéphane Scharlé, and inspired this magnetic sound-fresco in ten stops.
The ten compositions of this new opus were, for the most part, sketched ahead of the trips, like fantasized memories of adventures to come, then refined and enriched in light of the experiences lived and the energy felt on the spot.
HYPERLAPSE is an album that brushes up against the real, is impregnated with human encounters and cultural shocks by which the five acolytes were confronted during this unusual year.
The title of the album is borrowed from the audiovisual jargon. A variant of stop motion, the hyperlapse is a process of dynamic capture, split around a fixed subject, creating a troubling, organic, real-time acceleration.
This reference to image announces the very cinematic atmosphere that we find in the album. It echoes the composer’s experience fitting music to film and also refers directly to the work by director Juliette Ulrich, who followed the group around the world last year, and produced the productions that accompany the release of the album: the music video, «Hyperlapse», and the web series «High, Far & Loud».
For this new opus, Stéphane Scharlé surrounded himself with his ideal line-up already present on WELCOME HOME, the previous album by the quintet: Julien Soro on saxophone and keyboards (who became part of the ONJ in 2019), Tam de Villiers on guitar, Guillaume Nuss on trombone and his constant companion, Édouard Séro-Guillaume on bass and keyboards.
In three years of touring (and more than 100 concerts) since the release of WELCOME HOME, the five figures of OZMA have affirmed their group sound. Through the composer’s initiative, the quintet mutated into a sidereal orchestra, adding two keyboards and trombone effects to their original sound palette.
«Dust City» opens the album and sets the tone with a dystopian ambiance à la «Blade Runner». A new sonic dimension that we find in the title track, «Hyperlapse», a tribute to the electronic frenzy of Hamburg, «Die Gilde» for the Hanseatic Lübeck, but also in the playful and techno «One Night in Bulawayo», the memory of an incredible night amidst a coup d’état in Zimbabwe …
OZMA does not deny its love of rock, however, and we are not surprised to learn that the composer comes from metal music when we embark aboard «Tuk- Tuk Madness» a crazy race through the urban jungle of Mumbai , are awed by «Spleen Party» for the beautiful Ahmedabad, or are bewitched by the magic and power of «Clay Army», evocation of the colossal army of terracotta warriors in the tomb of Emperor Qin in Xi’an.
The third musical facet of HYPERLAPSE, characteristic of a band that has created multiple movie-concerts honoring the image: a mastery of the acoustic sound that allows itself to breathe which is so conducive to film music.
Stéphane Scharlé expresses deep melancholy with «Infinite Sadness» inspired by Jakarta, the world-city in suspension. «Entre Chien et Loup» is the soundtrack reminiscent of a train running through the rice fields under a suspended Indonesian twilight, «To Leila» a tribute to Leila Alaoui, engaged photographer, victim of the 2016 attacks in Ouagadougou.
HYPERLAPSE promises beautiful surprises for aficionados of the quintet who will recognize their jubilant energy and will discover new sound textures but also acoustic and luminous ballads. A deep album, personal and fascinating, interpreted by five fantastic musicians welded together by an extraordinary journey.
This project is supported by Jazz & New Music, a program of Villa Albertine and FACE Foundation, in partnership with the French Embassy in the United States, with support from the French Ministry of Culture, Institut français, SACEM and Centre national de la Musique.