Sometimes, what we all need is a break. Sometimes, that break is complemented in the form of contemporary jazz. Fortunately for us, Max Stadtfeld, or otherwise known as STAX, is happily delivering just what the doctor ordered in today’s premiere! Today, we get a chill video of the Max and company performing their new single, “Icecream / Stupefaction”!

“Icecream / Stupefaction” weaves in and out with dynamics, shining spotlight just as much on all parts of the involved timbre as it does the beautiful intricacies of Max Stadtfeld’s drumming talents. There are moments and melodies where the guitar and sax sync up, creating this effect that makes the overall sound that much more alluring and trance-inducing. If Max’s goal here was to lull your mind into a euphoria mixed with mystery and bliss, that is almost overachieved. Every moment where an instrument breaks into its own solo or highlight of sorts just steadies the blood pressure all the more, like an audible anesthesia; But I’m not implying any factor of bore here – although I will say this may have to replace my lavender tea for a little while, if not just accompany it.

The way the volume, intensity, and overall mood of the song feels like it phases from this chill, quieter atmosphere into something a little more busy and mildly chaotic as the song concludes feels like a walk down the streets of Manhattan. One minute, you’re feeling at ease and just taking it all in, next thing you know, things get just a little more exciting and gets the blood flowing a little quicker. I’m not sure that STAX intended for this to be quite that moody, but I support the pleasant shift from start to finish all the same.

As someone who admittedly hasn’t kept too great of track on modern jazz, this piques an interest I wasn’t even terribly aware I had. As the weather warms, the sun is out, and the water is calling – I believe I am now obligated to delve further in the work of STAX + Max Stadtfeld. Listening along as you read, which I’m certain you, the reader, are doing, my hope is that you are feeling this infectious itch to do likewise! This is the sort of track that could make even the worst traffic jam in the world feel heavenly, even if you have to replay it 100 times to achieve that pacification. Hey, therapy is therapy, after all – nobody feels 100% after only one session; So repeat on!

“Icecream / Stupefaction” is but a tiny drop in a large bucket of serotonin, as it appears. Due out June 21st, 2024 via Bloomslang Records and TELESKOP, this single is a sampling of the many flavors you’ll have to soothe your tastebuds again and again once the album, Fancy Future, rolls on out from the red carpet of music distribution. One would be wise to follow Max via Instagram to keep up to date on all news surrounding this release and much more, as well as Boomslang‘s Bandcamp! But don’t just take my word for it, here’s some deeper diving into the sea of melody that is Fancy Future:

‘While the mood of the title stands in stark contrast to the previous album Suboptimal (2022, KLAENG records), Max continues the artistic experiments initiated there. At the center is the relaxed-rhythmic, the weird-melodic, the raw-beautiful. All in all: pretty fancy. This also applies to the unique production aesthetic of the album: Alex Binder (here as engineer, otherwise as a bassist for, among others, Dota, Judith Holofernes, Max Prosa) makes the quartet’s music resonate with a nonchalant indie sound. In this, the musicians of STAX weave their web of melodies, rhythms, harmonies, and textures, which seem incredibly dense yet so light. Bertram Burkert’s guitar sounds fluctuate between cool minimalism and the warmth (even heat?) of grunge. Matthew Halpin explores paths for his incredibly agile lines and cascades with his saxophone in these textures, while Reza Askari, with impressive flexibility, sometimes stands steadfast as a foundation and suddenly hovers above everything with melodic virtuosity. And Max Stadtfeld? – His playing is truly unique: seemingly in the background, he operates with grand rhythmic finesse. He plays around what is there and propels what must come.’



Easygoing weirdo with a love for life, music, art, culture, outdoors, meeting new people, seeing new places, and trying new things. Oh yeah, and I guess I never shut up about the things I love, too. That’s a quality!

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