MACHINA MUNDI | Machina Mundi (Dec 2021)

Luboš Soukup is a musician, composer and educator based in Copenhagen, Denmark. His main instruments are the tenor and soprano saxophone, as well as the clarinet. Besides that, he plays the flute and the piano. He tours Europe regularly and has played at numerous international jazz festivals. He conducts the Lubos Soukup Quartet, the internationally successful Points Quartet and its extended versions: Points-Rataj Quintet and Points Septet. He is a permanent member of the Scandinavian band MAdHAs, the Czech-Polish quintet Inner Spaces and the big band Concept Art Orchestra.

Soukup has always been surrounded by music and has had a strong desire to become a musician since childhood. After finishing high school, he studied at three European conservatories, namely the Jaroslav Ježek Conservatory in Prague, the Karol Szymanowski Music Academy in Katowice, and the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen.

Leader of several award-winning jazz bands, he combines impressive technique and his boundless desire to seek out new music, all coupled with a desire to make music that moves people. His music speaks directly to the audience. His compositions are well structured and he creates colorful improvised soundscapes. This produces a deep listening experience and evokes beautiful images and emotional responses in the listener. Soukup has released more than ten albums with his compositions.

One of the projects he leads is Machina Mundi, founded with his friends from the Rhythmic Music Conservatory, Canadian double bassist Craig Earle, Swedish drummer Daniel Johansson and keyboardist William Larsson. Their self-titled debut album is inspired by the legendary band Weather Report, their use of different types of synths, keyboards and effects, as well as Chris Potter’s “Underground” project. The compositions that make up this work range from elegant melodies to more rock and transgressive ones with moments of collective improvisation, all of them very elaborate. The song titles are based on tarot cards. The album opens with “Dream” beginning with a diffuse melody that, as the dream tarot card indicates, can surprise you as it progresses. And so it is, because it derives in an unexpected and welcome funk rhythm.

“Mundi Special #1” is a clarinet saxophone solo that serves as a link to the next song, “Black and White Sphinxes”, with a classical and sad depth at the same time, not without an enigmatic development. “The Wheel of Fortune” in the tarot means change and this topic really changes the path followed up to now. Electronic sounds and reverberations throw you into the space of improvisation and psychedelia that gives way to a relaxing song, “Out (Of the Garden of Eden)” with contained tension.

We are coming to the end with “The Eighth Star” which features the guest vocalist, the Danish Karmen Roivassepp. The star card brings inspiration, and is what this theme conveys. The album ends with “The World”, the longest song on the album, which begins as a playful and elegant composition, gradually deriving into more daring arrangements and electronic textures, always in search of new sounds.

Luboš Soukup and his Machina Mundi are a pleasant musical surprise on the international jazz scene.

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