Located down a side street from the Place de la Republique, in Paris, Le Mellotron combines bar and radio station, and consistently delivers eclectic programming. This week’s smooth jazz mix is infused with the elegance and class that is the height of the Parisian chic. Proving that Europe has no monopoly over jazz, the mix weaves between the different strands of this genre that are emanating from all over the world.
While soundcloud mixes have largely become the domain of house/EDM DJs and producers, this extended jazz session is worth considering alongside these other extended musical engagements. This is mostly due to an emphasis on atmosphere, rather than on the music. There is enough diversity between songs to keep it interesting, but it isn’t a mix to attentively and actively listen to. Instead, the two-hour show from Le Mellotron allows for one to move in and out of listening modes. A good example of the smooth tone and diverse sounds is the mix between Donatella Viggiano’s ‘Napule Canta E More’ and Le Feste Antonacci’s ‘Diverso’. The former is an upbeat 1970s jazz track that incorporates huge instrumentation, emotional vocals and a disco folk funk sound. The latter is an electronic, alternative song that grooves with its diverse sonics. The two are very different songs, but can be tied together in such a broad survey of experimentation. Others include the piano and fast tempo jazz drums of Anne Wirz’s ‘Mother of the Future’, the playful funk guitar and melodic sax of Cloud’s ‘All Night Long’ and the reggae rhythms of El Michels Affair ft. Lee Fields’ ‘Never Be Another You’.
Le Mellotron has curated a jazz mix that is rich with the vibrant and diverse Parisian aesthetic it evokes. It has enough depth to encourage active listening, but is so stylised that it’s just as easy to enjoy while engaged in conversation and contemplation.