The Dark Jazz Project is a new musical adventure from Birmingham based electronic music producer Andrew Spackman (SAD MAN, Nimzo-Indian, The Zoom Quartet). He has been making music since the age of 10, his first instrument being a Boosey and Hawkes trombone, which he played in the school band, before being beguiled by electric guitars, Jimi Hendrix, J Mascis, Brian May, and playing in various folk rock, funk and progressive rock bands through the late 80’s and 90’s. 

Finally landing in Bristol in 97, this new city inspired his solo and more experimental outings, as well as collaborating and creating music for Mark Springer of Rip Rig and Panic and The High Llamas.“Bristol was a very motivating place for me. Bands such as Movietone, Flying Saucer Attack, Stoloff and Hopkinson were making amazing music and promoters such as Fat Paul, the Cube Microplex and Ashton Court Festival were a hub for interesting things to happen. I just had a Roland MS1 sampler, Fostex X15 running tape loops and a Roland R5 drum machine but from that I just started to create both improvised live sets and recording”. 

Andrew also played various gigs at that time including Test One in Sheffield curated by the brilliant Mira Calix, OMSK at the 333 Club and Exploding Cinema. Taking sporadic hiatus from music in 2006 to focus on art projects such as OHMMM (the Orchestra of Home Made Musical Machines) and building and exhibiting miniature guitars and other art objects at the Bangkok Arts and Cultural Centre; The Ethnographic Museum, Krakow; Aspex Gallery; The MAC, Birmingham; Herbert Art Gallery; BMAG, Birmingham being short listed for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Info here

He returned full force into music in 2014, first as wonky electronic producer Nimzo-Indian and later the allusive musical character SAD MAN. As SAD MAN he Released 17 albums and over 200 tracks over a 5 year period, proving to be a hugely fertile period and resulting in air play on BBC Radio 3 – Late Junction, BBC 6 Music – Stuart Maconie Freak Zone, Tom Robinson BBC Introducing Mix Tape, Resonance FM, Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide FM, as well as reviews in DJ Mag (9/10 singles review) Electronic Sound Magazine, Monolith Cocktail music blog, Mojo Magazine and the Wire Magazine. Listen to Sad Man music here

In 2019 Andrew was commissioned by BBC Radio 3 DJ Nick Luscombe (and Creative Director of Musicity Global) to create a 15 minute musical work in collaboration with Anna Palmer (Dorcha) for a large scale light installation that was performed live on NYE at Coventry Cathedral. In 2020 Andrew collaborated with story teller Francis Lowe to create a spoken word and soundtrack album of strange and supernatural tales across time for the Cue Dot label called Stories from an Island. Andrew has remixed many artists including: Dorcha, Matters Band, stealing Sheep, Lumpen Nobleman, Gemma Cullingford, Alex H Duncan, Scissorgun, High Llamas, Vila Veil. Listen here.

In May 2022 Andrew sold his first NFT,  a piece of music made using Holly Herndon’s AI digital voice and selected by Holly to be part of her first collection of 70 artist for Holly+. 

The final release as SAD MAN took the form of a 10 track CD with accompanying 120 page book of 10 short stories by music writers, artists and journalists who each responded to tracks from the latest album. Writers in the book include Gordon Rutherford – Louder than War, Mat Smith – Electronic Sound Magazine, James Thornhill – Bloop Magazine, Shane Woolman – Wire Magazine, Bobby Grant – Iniquitous Glory, Andy Wood – TQ Zine, Spenser Thompson – Front and Follow, Francisco j Dominguez – Forest Robots, Francis Lowe – Stories from an Island, Paul Gardner – Afro Samurai, Crash Bandicoot, Carbon Grey.  Each story has also been brilliantly interpreted by illustrator Jay Taylor. 

Having placed SAD MAN into retirement in May, The Dark Jazz Project sees Andrew breaking free of previous self imposed restriction and limits and sees him plunging headfirst into a pool of forceful jazz chaos.  Monolith Cocktail described The Dark Jazz Project as “Like a moon-guided abstract fear; a ghostly voyage aboard a Kubrickian, Lovecraftian and Tarkovskyian space freighter this new vision scopes lunar caverns and the deep cosmos.” The first 3 track EP is released via Irregular Frequencies (Sub label of Irregular Patterns). A test bed release before a full album drops.

This first full album release features 9 tracks of avant grade madness symptomatically reflecting our unstable times.

Where to find The Dark Jazz Project//Andrew Spackman





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