Coercing the mind to contend with ambiguity André 3000 (André Benjamin) presents his audience with New Blue Sun (87'41") - an album of eight instrumental works for wind instruments and innovative spirit. Amidst his bold, beautiful, musical mind-zone of a release we encounter a moving mixture of flutes, EWI, curious customs and current technology. André 3000 brings to this adventure a background in popular music, which has been subdued to accommodate the wayfaring compositional arc of the open-ended soft jams that populate New Blue Sun. Communicating in unique aural symbols each moment of timbre and tone, pushed possibly by deep ethereal breaths, curves gently out into the air. The result is dramatic in a jazzy, ambient, deeper kind of way. In a minimal realm such as this the subtlest gesture can have the most profound effect. In measured motions each track builds. Along with feeling flutes we will find an intelligent mix of seductive percussion, spacey organ, dreamy keys and electronic processing - painstakingly combined into a substantial and sustaining sphere of sound. The serenely sweet sonics travel so sedately that time seems to stretch. With its clouds of sounds drifting, ebbing and flowing across minimal mindscapes, this music may come across as quite cosmic or synthetic. But, no matter how spaced out these realizations may go they will always exist on a human level - as the basis of each piece simply comes down to the length of the players' breath. Entrancing abstractions yield to a stream of transformations, giving way to passages of slow burning brightness, as an argument for the future becomes clear. Lit by tomorrow's sun, in his successful synergy of ancient ways and future days André 3000 tells us of life under a different light.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 28 December 2023