The third studio album from Manchester’s Mouse Outfit has arrived, just in time for Summer get-togethers and BBQ season. A 17 track collection of fluid Jazz inspired composition, Soul accents and heritage Hip-Hop flows. Mouse Outfit – along with Children of Zeus – continue to push the needle of conversation in this country when it comes to what we expect of contemporary Hip-Hop. And, given the rich history of music in Manchester it’s little surprise then, that the city and its musicians have retained that special ability to innovate genre and form.
For the Mouse Outfit, the emphasis has always been on instrumentation, weaving strands of talent together to produce a sound that is as hopeful as it is introspective. The gems within contemporary British Jazz – while broadening – remain somewhat of a specialist interest in plenty of circles. The success of the Mouse Outfit collective lies in their ability to pierce through prentense with direct social commentary on everything from success, depression, drugs, violence and police brutality. Band founders Chini and Defty, deliver a type of contemporary Hip-Hop meets Jazz style without trading in their integrity. “We are very excited about the new jazz scene that has emerged in London with artists like Kamaal Williams, Ezra Collective etc. as championed by Gilles Peterson.” Chini explains before adding, “The Hip Hop & Grime influences on these styles have brought about a new energy into the jazz world and made it relevant to a younger audience. These two worlds seem to be more interconnected than ever before.”
With over 29 musicians, vocalists and producers involved (including Blue Note’s Ashley Henry and Cinematic Orchestra’s Sam Vicary), this is their most ambitious project to date. IAMDDB appears on four tracks, and Chini and Defty have curated some of the city’s most interesting voices alongide. Kinkai, Berry Blacc, Ellis Meade, Dubbul O, T-Man and Layfullstop all come together across ‘Jagged Tooth Crook’. “Although there were many people involved in the album, The Mouse Outfit is essentially a duo so all the creative decisions are made by Chini & Defty.” Chini says, “For this album, Metrodome joined the production team and we found that he had very similar ideas in the studio. In fact, it was quite spooky how often we suggested things that he was thinking about already and vice-versa.”