Anteloper is the project of the jazz trumpeter Jaimie Branch and the drummer Jason Nazary. They have released a new album called Pink Dolphins which is out now via International Anthem. According to the press release, There’s something undeniably now and new about Anteloper’s current work. It channels a wide array of expressions from the kosmische musik / post punk sounding opener “Inia” through the seismic, spectrum-saturating album closer “One Living Genus.” Anteloper blazes rarely-trodden trails through a cross-pollinated wilderness of electronics and jazz. And though one might assume that jazz and electronics are common genre interactions these days, Anteloper’s experiments mine deep into underexplored spaces between lexicons.
There’s also a punk aspect to Anteloper – branch makes this clear when she says “I’m coming from punk. We’re both coming from punk!” – and you can really feel that energy in their DIY, do or die approach. Additionally, they embrace a bit of pre-punk, contrarian innovation energy like Miles Davis on Live Evil – a benchmark album for both musicians. Speaking of Miles – his trumpet solo on “Green Dolphin Street” (dolphins again!) was the first solo that branch ever transcribed, and Nazary says that when they first started playing together, he wanted to cover “Little Church” from Live Evil (atleast in part because of Airto’s playing). branch also notes that Parker cites Live Evil as one of his favorites. In fact, Parker played a sort of Teo Macero role for Anteloper on Pink Dolphins. Parker explains: “The source material that was initially sent to me was many, many hours of improvised sessions that needed to be sifted through. It was overwhelming! So eventually Anteloper went back in the lab and edited the source material down into smaller chunks, and we went from there. It took me a long time to find a groove with it… I spent many months experimenting with different techniques and ideas. I would send them tracks, they would add to it and send it back. It was definitely a challenging way to make a record. I learned a lot. It was worth it!”
Nazary notes that their growth as a duo has really come about as they have refined their relationship with electronics: “The other step for us is how we are interfacing – how I am using the drums to control electronics. I’m always looking for a different way.” branch references early influences Sun Ra, Mouse on Mars, and J Dilla, and later influences from Moor Mother, Harriet Tubman, and Sam Newsome. She cites the importance of electronics to her as exploratory instruments, both in sound and technique. Nazary notes that his drums/electronics rig is “really a cyborg setup, the machines influence me as much as I do them.” Then he surprisingly picks one big electronic band as his key inspiration “I love Autechre! That record Confield and Draft 7.30 – that’s it – that’s how I want to sound on the drums!”