Today Mark de Clive-Lowe announced an April 5th release date for Heritage II, the partner to his critically acclaimed album Heritage. He also released his new single “O-Edo Nihonbashi.”
Day turns to night as Heritage II takes us from the meditative zen of Heritage into a world of jazz and Japanese influences fused with drum and bass, hip hop, and broken-beat. The first installment of the duology was released in February 2019. For the half-Japanese half-New Zealander who calls Los Angeles home, the two part project is a deeply personal exploration of de Clive-Lowe’s ancestry and cultural roots.
“Heritage is a legacy we receive from our ancestors to pass on to future generations. It’s the thread that holds us together in lineage and cultural identity,” posits de Clive-Lowe. “It’s what gives our relatively short lives context and meaning in the bigger picture of generations past and future. We are the new ancestors, and with that in mind, it’s important that we act and contribute accordingly. This is my identity search and journey to better understand where I’ve come from, what ancestry means to me and where I’m going to.”
Listen to “O-Edo Nihonbashi” below.
Heritage II opens with a meditative solo piano introduction that gives way to a J Dilla-inspired interpretation of the Japanese traditional folk song “O-Edo Nihonbashi.” This album then leads into to “Bushido II,” a composition that recontextualizes the familiar theme from Heritage into a wildly experimental drum and bass ride. These opening songs set the scene for Heritage II; a flipside of the coin to the first installment that continues the story of Heritage with a new perspective.
De Clive-Lowe showcases his breadth of skill as a producer, composer and instrumentalist. An artist who is as indebted to the jazz greats as much as hip hop, house, and experimental music icons, de Clive-Lowe challenges us to leave our preconceptions at the door and follow him down the path on a journey of his own discovery. “I came up loving jazz, hip hop, drum and bass, house, broken beat and so much more. I like to lean into these different inspirations at the same time, balancing the sonic aesthetics and stylistic approaches in unexpected ways,” de Clive-Lowe explains. “That’s a huge part of my own ‘in’ and ‘yo’ (yin and yang in Japanese) balance in my process and creativity. To be able to bring all of this together with musical stories of my ancestry, roots and identity is something that’s very special to me.”
The Heritage albums were recorded live at LA’s Blue Whale jazz club over three nights and one additional day in a North Hollywood studio. Exactly where the live recording stops and the studio recording starts is all but impossible to tell, with de Clive-Lowe editing the material to purposely blur that line.
De Clive-Lowe celebrates the new album with a major launch show on April 20th at the Aratani Theater, Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. The performance will feature de Clive-Lowe’s full band plus a string quartet, dancers, and live visuals.