‘Pause, vol.1’ is the new EP release from producer and musician Bojidar “TromBobby” Vasilev.
With past releases as a part of Dayo and Southwick, collaborative projects alongside vocalist C-Mo and solo releases like ‘Run’ from 2018, Vasilev’s passion for beats-inspired and sample-based compositions led to some fantastic results via the aforementioned projects but also contributed to solidifying his own sound and style amidst Bulgaria’s contemporary soul and hip-hop scene.
‘Pause’, however, represents an exciting new phase in an already staggering music career which sees Vasilev take these decided steps to embrace more of his early and long-standing influences. Already a skilled trombonist after having studied jazz trombone at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam – perhaps a fact already evident within the “TromBobby” moniker – Vasilev seeks to develop the overall aesthetic of this project with a shift towards more live instrumentation.
In fact, the accompanying artwork for the ‘Pause’ project masterfully lays bare all of Vasilev’s intentions, passions and inspirations for his music going forward. The image of turntables sat comfortably beside the MPC and laptop; the juxtaposition of those tools set against the litany of instruments including horns, keyboards, guitars and drums; the subtle nod to two of Vasilev’s chief inspirations with vinyl copies of D’Angelo’s ‘Voodoo’ and Dilla’s ‘Donuts’ casually strewn across the floor…
Very much an artist to affectionately wear his influences on his sleeve, both, D’Angelo and Dilla, have openly served as leading sources of inspiration in TromBobby’s music to date. Two artists under the Soulquarians umbrella and architects of the neo-soul sound whose music went on to inspire subsequent generations, including past Vasilev tributes as with ‘This One Is 4 Dilla’ from his previous ‘Run’ album.
While so much of TromBobby’s music to date has thrived on the spirit of collaboration, much of the EP’s six offerings are representative of his skill as a one-man band with many of the tracks crediting Vasilev as responsible for the music, arrangement, production, writing as well as an array of instrumentation throughout. ‘Pause’ does boast some key contributors including flautist Arnau Garrofé who appears on two tracks, as does US singer Jermaine Holmes who tackles lead vocals for ‘Tony’s Lament’ and the EP highlight, ‘Longing’. Noted for his contributions to projects by Keyon Harrold, Bobby Sparks and Nate Smith, Holmes serves as a key voice to help usher in these compelling neo-soul tendencies as he soars over these brilliant multi-layered and soul-infused compositions.
With this release featuring the tantalising prospect of further instalments, it will be interesting to see how TromBobby will seek to evolve his sound even further over time by perhaps delving even deeper into those early influences or looking to steer his music into more unexplored territory.