What started as a Halloween joke party band has evolved into a unique and innovative jazz outfit. The Choke is the name of this remarkable Russian-Norwegian “horror jazz” ensemble which is comprised of group members Ilya Veletsky (piano, keyboards, and guitars), Vadim Savin (drums and percussion), and Ering Askidlt (bass, strings, and brass).

The Choke’s cinematic musical prose come to life in their new EP titled First Aid Kit. The new project totes five lavishly produced tracks. Each selection commits its own sense of irony amid the intelligible sonic landscape that The Choke has wonderfully cast. Overall, the project is heavily embedded into its rich texture of instrumental cynicism.

First Aid Kit opens with a shadowy but equally moving track called Royal Blood Boxing Club. The piano riffs are dark but clever. The drums are powerful as the bassline seems to hold everything together. This sinister groove appears to set a trend for what is to follow as witnessed in the succeeding track Switchblades (Ghetto Waltz), which features a very theatrical premise that is equally intense.

The Choke seals the continuity of the First Aid Kit’s sound with a beautifully composed piece Sick of You. The track echoes traditional jazz music in its structure and is quite enjoyable. This full plate of rhythm concludes with the racy and daring track Slash ‘N’ Stab. The Choke has crafted a remarkable EP that stands as history in the making, upon which we are forever grateful.