Building on the signature sounds the duo developed on their first full-length LP ‘Debuts’ – that was praised by the likes of Gilles Peterson, Tom Ravenscroft (BBC 6Music), and Okayplayer – ‘Back & Forth’ is a deeper and more radically aesthetic approach to its predecessor. Nikitch & Kuna Maze expand on their soulful and subtle combination of jazz-flavours and the syncopated beats of broken beat and UKG; the album sees the duo working with collaborators for the first time, such as Brazilian singer-songwriter Joao Selva, while also experimenting with their own vocal material.
Influenced by the likes of John Carroll Kirby, Kaidi Tatham, Byron The Aquarius and Moodymann, the duo continues to explore the intersection between jazz and club culture, demonstrated by the sheer musical variety present on the album, spanning from house to broken beat, brit-funk, Brazilian, jazz-funk, and more.
The collaboration project between musician Nicolas Morant aka Nikitch, and Brussels-based producer Edouard Gilbert aka Kuna Maze, began when the duo met at the Chambery Jazz Conservatory in France. Before attending university to study jazz, both artists had trained in classical music while growing up in the Lyon countryside.
Both prominent artists and DJs in their own right, last year Nikitch released his debut album ‘Chromatism’ on Casamance, while Kuna Maze dropped a new EP titled “My Fish Is Burning” on Tru Thoughts, held down a residency on Kiosk Radio and launched his live band. Career highlights for the duo to date include performances at the prestigious EFG London Jazz Festival, being remixed by broken beat legend Domu and remixing acid jazz pioneer Toshio Matsuura.
Nikitch & Kuna Maze have been on the road touring ‘Back & Forth’ since its release, alongside drummer Victor Pascal. Shows included the prestigious Le Botanique. Brussels, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, London and Band on the Wall, Manchester, as well as festivals such as Dour, Worldwide Sete, and Montreux Jazz Festival.