Dan Guidance – On The Jazz EP (Flight Pattern)

by | Jul 6, 2024 | Reviews, Tunes

This week, we have something really special. Dan Guidance brings us the deeply personal “On The Jazz” EP on the mighty Flight Pattern imprint headed by Random Movement. I was fortunate enough to speak with Dan about this EP, and play and promote it for a few days before its release – I was thrilled about this one from the previews in June, but learning about this EP’s history and influence solidified these pieces for me as works I will listen to forever. Truly beautiful.


Dan Guidance hails from the countryside near Bristol, UK, and has been releasing a wide variety of quality drum and bass under this alias for over ten years. Coming fresh off of a remix on the “Liquid Heart Remixes LP”, and a big collaboration with Twintone on his own Portal Recordings, Dan digs deep with this collection, drawing from a wide array of early and recent influences that seem to center around an experimental process. Citing inspiration across many musical realms such as Kid Koala and Underworld, he expertly crafts a listening experience that is rhythmic and visual, reminiscent of the early days of sample culture.

The artist offered some words about this EP:

I was able to chat briefly with Mr. Guidance prior to this review, and he kindly shared some information about his formative years in and around Bristol as it pertains to his music now:
It was very much DIY back in my early days. I remember my first rave was in the Welsh hills, decks on a car bonnet and a strobe light. Me & friend just watched from a far in awe. I was hooked from then on. We had a small but vibrant local scene…mostly free parties (the only clubs around were cheesy pop dance). The local DJs would play Techno, Goa, DnB, Breaks, all sorts. I remember being inspired by the warm up and wind down sets of Atmospheric Jungle from a DJ called Lowrie, who I looked up to. He also played a lovely Techno set I can remember. Me and my friends soon got decks and the rest is history!
I’m sure we can all relate to this DIY, get it done for the sound approach. Dan is someone to look out for in the future, as I’m sure this artist won’t stop making quality music, but please do yourself a favor and check out his release history. If you like liquid funk, this is quintessential.


This being said, lets get into the track by track:


On The Jazz: The title track opens the ep with a scratchy vinyl & Rhodes combo that sets up the vibe of the whole album perfectly. Followed closely by snappy drums that accentuate the rhythm of the punchy Rhodes, the intro lets the listener think they are in a far off land tonally from where the tune drops. In true improvisational style, the big upright bass lets us know where home is. The piece then moves quickly into rhythmic changes, centered around a trumpet sample that drives the two distinct parts of this opener, and title track. When I listen to this opener I think it’s two tracks, just because of how much variety lies in the rhythmic bank. Moving into the midsection, we are offered more and more until arriving on the second drop with a new piano and vibraphone theme, drums and flute kicking in as if nothing happened. Coming home in this one, the trumpet sample heralds once again to bring one last peak to the tune before rinsing out.


Big Thing: Dreamy intro synths invite the second track, giving way to a meandering and playful piano melody that dances across the top of the bassline. Opting for a similar but splashy drum set, Dan works the notes between two worlds on “Big Thing”. A chromatic wonderland working the 1 & 2 relationship, this one is a journey of blues, soul, and rhythm.


Moving On: This one is my favorite from the album – the track opens with a rainy scene, tightly wrapped with a drumkit. The keys in the first minute foreshadow the absolutely buttery drop that comes, transporting the listener to the late night walk in the park. Moving On makes you think, as much as it makes you fall into the visual world it creates – every time I hear this piece I see the same foggy, park scene, illuminated by blurry streetlights, inviting introspection. Truly excellent stuff, and once you add the edgy tonality of the wide body jazz guitar in there, the deal is sealed. Toss this one on the system and vibe out, no matter what the setting.


Relax: Closing the album with a distinct and heavy backbeat, almost jungle-y in the rhythmic flip, the artist continues to effectively lean on the fatness of the upright bass. Bringing back more clustery electric piano and synths reminiscent of earlier tracks, “Relax” brings the album to a close in wonderfully smooth fashion. What’s surprising and disrupting about the rhythmic change in the beginning ends up tying the ideas existent in previous tracks together to wrap up the EP in a perfectly unique jazzy fashion.


Thank you for this beautiful EP, Dan, and it is both an honorable and enjoyable memoir. You can purchase this wonderful collection here.

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DJ / Producer living in Brookfield, IL specializing in deep, funky, and soulful drum and bass. Streaming many of these reviews live at twitch.tv/tontomusic