By Shae Rupinsky
What is in a name; can a book be judged by its cover or a band by its title? Freekbass & The Bump Assembly can as they keep their latest album Cincinnati a little freaky, full of bass, and a lot of fun. Cincinnati is Freekbass’ sixth album and features The Bump Assembly with keyboardist/synth player Razor Sharp Johnson and drummer Rico Lewis. The album’s title is an ode to the city where Freekbass grew up and was first inspired by the sound to become the musician he is today. This compilation of influences is a defining characteristic for the album.
Cincinnati opens with “Don’t Waste My Time,” a catchy tune to spark the listener’s attention with sing-along lyrics and playful horns. This transitions into another lyrical “Put It In A Letter,” followed by the instrumental “Milkhunt.” The change reflects the overall balance of the album as it flows from high-energy to low and showcases both words and sounds. Synths take the lead mid-album on the ambient “Living the Connection” whose lyrics seem to critique the modern electronic world that makes the song’s sound possible. After another instrumental interlude the album picks up again with the funky and danceable “You Don’t’ Have The Time.” Freekbass continues the upward swing until it closes with “Up, Up, Up.” As a bonus, Cinncinati includes a remix of “Living the Connection” featuring Doug Wimbish.
Overall, Cincinnati reflect the diverse collection of sounds that Freekbass likely first heard and grew to love in his hometown. Influences of improvisational jazz, funk, electronic, rock, and blues are all evident throughout the album and even in a single song. This eclectic style is Freekbass & The Bump Assembly’s strongest asset and biggest deterrent. Those whose ears are displeased by the sporadic belts of jazz may find some songs on Cincinnati hard to hear while those who revel in spontaneity will feel at home. Regardless of your preference give Cincinnati a listen as horns, guitar, synth, keys, and more take different freaky forms for you enjoyment.