It’s no secret that Michigan producer The Lasso has been on a creative tear over the last couple of years. Just since 2019, he’s released two solo albums, along with collaborating on full-length albums with Psyspiritual, Chris Orrick, and ELUCID. This past February, he released the genre-defying solo album, 2121. Now he’s teamed up with two of his frequent collaborators, Jordan Hamilton and Saxsquatch, to make another unique album, Tri Magi.

One way to make a unique album is to start with the instrumentation. There are plenty of traditional ways to form a trio, whether it be the time-tested rock formula of drum, bass, and guitar, the jazz formula of drums, bass, and piano, or of course the hip hop formula of two emcees and one deejay. What you don’t see a lot of is a trio consisting of producer/multi-instrumentalist, cellist, and saxophone. No worries, though, because these three aren’t forming this trio for novelty purposes, and their meeting wasn’t some random occurrence. They’ve all known each other for a while and have worked together before on different projects, so they have an established chemistry and shared musical language going into this project. While they all have a lot of technical ability and bring in influences that range from hip hop to classical, the logical meeting point as a home base is progressive jazz, along the lines of artists such as Chick Corea or Herbie Hancock. Something that still gets funky but can also push the envelope with some complex arrangements that can go off in some wild directions. It’s an incredibly challenging listen in this way, but this trio never gets so far off in left field that the music is inaccessible. In actuality, this album bumps more often than you’d expect from something so avantgarde in its composition. That’s the real beauty of Tri Magi. The Lasso, Hamilton, and Saxsquatch are all throwing these interesting musical ideas at you that will cover everything from dance music to post-rock, with virtuosic instrumental performances, but they always take a step back and make sure the bigger picture of the songs and the album are just easy and fun to listen to. It’s an incredibly tough balance to pull off, but they do it well on this album.

You won’t hear too many albums like Tri Magi in 2021. The Lasso, Jordan Hamilton, and Saxsquatch have great chemistry together, and they push each other in just the right ways to make some instrumental music that brings together jazz, hip hop, no wave, funk, soul, dance, and more, challenging and rewarding listeners with some funky music that will make you think and move your feet at the same time.