Track Review: Morpher – ‘£81,000’

Morpher: A jazz-fusion trio that radiate just as much energy as the sun… sold? Okay, okay this is a mild exaggeration, but their live performance at Hyde Park Book Club for Nice People Magazine was immense. On Tuesday they released their newest track ‘£81,000’ and it’s guaranteed to tantalise your taste buds.

Recorded at ATA Studios, the track takes its name from the student debt the three musicians have racked up over the years. The mention of this at the single launch induced an empathetic groan from the crowd (certainly from me anyway). Immediately, when the track begins, you can hear the unique influences and styles from which Morpher feed. Electronica is interrupted by hip-hop beats, to then be joined by meandering saxophone. Each element is dynamic and fluid, not to mention supremely catchy (check out that recurring spiky sax melody!). ‘£81,000’ is a whirlwind of moods and rhythms. At one point we move from a slower, alluring, bass-heavy funk section to a moment of high-intensity, cymbal-crashing, drum and bass – truly awesome!! There is an exciting unpredictability to this music, and I mean that with no negative connotations. Rather, Morpher are assuredly spontaneous – unafraid to push boundaries and free themselves from constraints. In an interview with Nice People, they say: “We formed in a rebellious response to the Jazz education we all had”, and this certainly translates through their sound.

Morpher via their FB

Finally, it would be a travesty not to mention their live performance. As mention before, they launched this single at an event curated by Nice People. Following on from the likes of Tall Talker, What? Nah, and Yaatri, Morpher closed the night. If anyone was unsure about what they were in for, immediately bassist (and seeming all-round legend) Frazer Kerslake kicked over several items on the stage with a shrug of the shoulders. The crowd really engaged with Morpher, not just with their music but with the members themselves. Jasper Cole played the sax with much enthusiasm (sometimes opting for a one-foot, flamingo-esque balance) whilst Chris Mcintyre entertained the crowd with his wicked style. Hype man Frazer even did an impromptu vocal performance (something in-between scatting/thrash metal/spoken word). When musicians are having a good time it often rubs off on the crowd, and Morpher’s live performance was no different – smiles all round!

They are clearly three very talented musicians. Having played at various jazz festivals, such as London and Lancaster, as well as venues in Manchester, Huddersfield and Leeds, they show no sign of slowing down. ‘£81,000’ is a refreshing transmogrification of Jazz and Morpher are a brilliant example of the talent coming out of Leeds. I eagerly anticipate their debut album!

The verdict: Bao buns (yeah, went a bit rogue with this one). Pushing the limit of what is considered a burger or a dumpling, it resides somewhere in the middle. Drawing on several influences, as well as having multiple filling options – it’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Although, at first, you may be unsure… you will be enjoying its punchy flavours and unpredictable textures in no time ʕ •ᴥ•ʔ

Listen for yourself:

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