It’s almost a foregone conclusion at this point that when an artist comes from Berklee College of Music in Boston, their work is going to be excellent, if not flawless. Producer, percussionist and composer Aman Jagwani might be one of the youngest artists with the Berklee pedigree who’s still technically in the schools production and percussion programs and whose work is quickly gaining recognition in the EDM world.
Now working out of his hometown of Goa, India, Jagwani has continued his studies with Berklee remotely and has also managed to put together his second album, This Place in the same fashion. Composing the tracks, designing both the analog and digital drums and coordinating all the collaborating musicians can’t have been an easy feat but This Place seems nonethelss effortless with its heavily syncopated rhythms, jazzy, lofi ambient sound design and absolutely flawless trumpet, vocal and piano melodies.
Unlike Jagwani’s debut album Essentially Entangled, which is more classically jazz fusion and also mostly live, This Place brings the listener to a whole different…well, place. With its focus on fusing composition styles between jazz and electronica. Landing somewhere in the center of jazz fusion, lofi electronica and trip hop, this album is as close to an antithesis of the first one while still being technically jazz-based.
There’s also a lot more collaboration on This Space than on Essentially Entangled. Along with vocalist Anubha Kaul lending her smooth, smoky yet pitch-perfect sound to every track and contributing to the overall vibe of the album, Jagwani also conscripted the likes of trumpeter Jason Palmer, flugelhorn player Milena Casado and pianist Ron Cha, who also debuted his vocal skills on the album.
Along with the technical prowess clearly displayed on This Place, and the cool, soulful, electronically produced take on jazz, what really stands out is the album’s emotional weight. Jagwani built his reflections on, and potential benefits of, healthy disassociation into each song on the album.
The album name, ‘This Place‘ is a pun on the word, “displace,” conveying the idea of how everyone has the power to displace from the mental, physical, emotional or any place they are in to their ideal place or state of mind. Each of the songs also conveys this idea in its own way.
So it turns out that This Place is also Jagwani’s musical happy place, and it’s likely to be a happy place for a lot of listeners as they discover this beautiful, contemplative and genre-bending album. It will be interesting to see if Jagwani continues on this electrified jazz path for his next projects, as this is only his second solo venture and everyone knows Berklee artists have the skill and diversity to go wherever they want. That said, if This Place is where he’s ostensibly starting his career, which is to say a place of technical mastery, emotional depth and an excellent command of beat composition, it’s almost unimaginable the heights he can hit. The EDM scene should count itself lucky if he decides to stay.
This Place is out now and can be purchased or streamed on a number of different platforms by clicking here.