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Jazz and hip-hop keep a long and intimate relationship. The fact that the cradle of African-American music and the most successful genre in recent pop history can still fertilize each other, got particularly demonstrated in the past by artists such as Flying Lotus from Los Angeles. And if you did not know that the three guys who form Athletic Progression grew up in Aarhus, Denmark, you would have located the trio on the US West Coast.
Hailing from Aarhus, Denmark, Athletic Progression is an instrumental trio rooted in Hip Hop and Jazz. Consisting of Jonas Cook on keys, Jonathan J. Ludvigsen on drums & Justo Gambula on bass, the band has gone from strength to strength over the last couple of years, and looks to conquer Europe in 2020.
While the group has been compared to Yussef Kamaal and their cohorts, their rise on the scene in Denmark has been happening simultaneously with the rise of the UK Jazz scene. Athletic Progression is deeply rooted in J Dilla-esque swing. Heavy, meditative vibes, instantly recognizable and insanely catchy. But these grooves do not emanate from samplers and chopped up breaks – they are played live. In the blink of an eye they tend to shift from an inhumanely tight synthetic electronic sound, to the wonkiest and elegant organic sound that time and time again proves them to be amazing individuals on their instruments.
Since making their debut in 2016, Athletic Progression has played Reeperbahn Festival, Pizza Express in London, and ESNS. They’ve made appearances on Danish national TV and radio, and routinely play sold out shows in Denmark in front of a young and clearly very enthusiastic crowd.
Athletic Progression’s debut EP Dark Smoke was released through on the Copenhagen indie label Super Bad Disco together with Berlin’s HHV Records in 2019. The self-titled follow up arrived in April 2020.