Titled “Vernacular", the debut album by Blake Reyes is set to release on Axis Records on Friday, October 27, 2023, in vinyl and digital formats. The album is personally overseen by Jeff Mills, and is part of the "Axis Jazz" collection.
This confirms the eclecticism and versatility of both Axis and Blake Reyes, through harmony and rhythm, cultural influences, and the right touch of fusion: characteristics that have always defined jazz.
The album was recorded in three different cities (Bologna, Milan, and Rome), with Jeff Mills present during all recording and mixing sessions. Particularly in Milan, work was done at the Officine Meccaniche studios, where Duke Ellington, Quincy Jones, and many others have recorded.
?Vernacular" is an album that draws from jazz, Detroit techno and funk. It evokes operatic work due to its aspiration to create strong emotional intensity. The album features a blend of acoustic instruments such as acoustic bass, acoustic and electronic guitars, and the Steinway & Sons Grand Piano - the same Duke Ellington played in 1963 when he recorded ?The Symphonic Ellington" album - alongside electronic instruments including drum machines and Roland synths.
?I titled the album ?Vernacular' because I focused solely on production and sound quality, drawing inspiration from vernacular art, as a self-taught and artisanal approach in the noblest sense of the term", Blake Reyes explains. ?The musical references can primarily be found in Jeff Mills and his Millsart project, and more broadly in the works of composers like Bruno Nicolai, Piero Umiliani, Piero Piccioni, Brian Bennett, John Cameron, and even Raymond Scott. For the lyrics of the track ?At Night,' the visual reference that inspired the lyrics can be traced back to certain paintings by Henri Rousseau, particularly ?The Dream,' ?The Snake Charmer,' and ?Sleeping Gypsy.' All of this was done in post-production, working alongside Jeff Mills: a wonderful experience, a continuous flow and exchange of ideas."
Producer, DJ, and sound designer Blake Reyes (born Luca Vertulli) divides his time between Milan and Ibiza. His productions consistently focus on the sounds and emotions derived from tapes, samplers, drum machines, and analog synthesizers. His mixes are broadcasted on stations such as Ibiza Global Radio, Ibiza Sonica, Radio Raheem, and Olà Radio. His DJ sets are distinguished by their elegance and quality, always bringing the dancefloor to the right temperature. He boasts releases on Trax Records and Rebirth Records, and in 2019, he founded Triton Records, his own record label.
Musicians: Dario Lutrino: piano, Stefano Brandoni: guitar, Niccolò "Bolla" Bonavita: bass, Anna Bassy: singer, Blake Reyes: drum machines and synthesizers.
Music composed, produced and directed by Blake Reyes. Lyrics written by Blake Reyes. Studio Engineer: Taketo Gohara, Mastering Engineer: Giovanni Versari, Producer: Jeff Mills.
Studios: Officine Meccaniche, Milan / Fonoprint, Bologna / Forum Studios, Rome