Atjazz - Full CircleMantis Recordings
Martin Iveson AKA Atjazz has always been right on point with his productions and 'Full Circle' is no different. Released on his own Mantis label it combines elements of deep house, broken-beat and digital soul and features a variety of guest vocalists including Robert Owens and Ernesto. There's also Vancouver's finest Amalia who graces the head-nodder 'One', Mr J of Phuturistix who appears on 'Together', Dawne B on the techy 'Parralels', Clara Hill on the bass heavy groove 'Before' and Sarah Jane Morris who fronts the feel-good vibe of 'Fantasy', all of which are nothing short of brilliant. Do not miss this one!
Andy Allen, 02/08
Atjazz - More Than A RemixAtjazz
For those already familiar with Martin Iveson aka Atjazz, “More than a Remix”, filled with over thirty tracks ranging from 1997 to 2013 is the gift that keeps on giving. There are so many superb tracks here past and present that define the crisp production and percussive rhythms that we’ve come to know and love from Martin and this just scratches the surface of timeless classics that rest inside the Atjazz vaults. One of his strengths is taking a great record and adding a fresh new element to it. That’s evident on classics such as Jazzanova’s “Dance The Dance” as well as Kerri Chandler’s Deep House crowd pleaser “Rain”. He also breathes new life into recent releases such as the lush recording of Boddhi Satva’s “Who Am I” and Maddslinky’s “Special” featuring Omar. Loyal admirers will simply love this disc while newcomers will delight in sorting through the rich catalogue.
Reg Dancy, 06/13
Atmosfear - En TranceSanctuary Records
Atmosfear’s rare debut album ‘En Trance’, originally released in 1981 on Elite Records, gets a welcome reissue via Sanctuary. This is British jazz funk at its best and features delights such as ‘Free Tonight’, Interplay’ and ‘Invasion’ along with the Latin flavored ‘Duende’ and ‘Return Of LB’. This package also includes 4 bonus tracks, ‘Extract’, ‘Motivation’, ‘Outer Space’ and the classic ‘Dancing In Outer Space’ which were previously only released on 12”. Essential!
Andy Allen, 09/05
Atongo Zimba - Barefoot In The SandHippo Records
Atongo Zimba’s new studio album sees him give a stripped back Fra Fra acoustic reworking to some of his older songs, in a collaboration with guitarist and producer Niels Brouwer. There’s a peaceful fluidity to the mixture of his lovely voice with calabash and percussion. Excellent.
Graham Radley, 06/08
Aybee - East Oakland Space ProgramDeepblak Recordings
Aybee’s 2008 release “Blacktropolis” was one of the most pleasant surprises to blare out of my speakers. “East Oakland Space Program” builds on the soulful futuristic sound that has made Aybee a visionary to be reckoned with. “EOSP” contains thirteen heart pounding tracks that will dive deep into your body and force you move to the hypnotic rhythms. The disc begins with “Hidden Treasures”, a deep pulsating groove reminiscent of the early Detroit techno sound. “Windows” is a warm, atmospheric deep dish that’s anchored by the earthy arrangements by Aybee and the vocals of Karen Paige. Another winner is “No Mystery” featuring Paul Randolph, whose deep vocals are a perfect match for Aybee’s spacey compositions. “Love Of” and “Ozzie Davis” are the kind of deep house jazz tracks you’ll love whether you’re on the dance floor or just lounging. “EOSP” is full of funky beats, hip vocals and gorgeous rhythms. This is another quality recording from the Deepblak label that will provide definite satisfaction.
Reg Dancy, 06/09
Azaxx - The Exotic Delight BayTru Thoughts Recordings
The roster of Tru-Thoughts is filled with an eclectic group of talented musicians. So say hello to Azaxx. The French producer’s full length debut, “The Exotic Delight Bay” is an appropriate title because his compositions consist of exotic rhythms that bridge influences from Brazil and Latin America combined with the electronic grooves and the fresh beats of today. Azaxx’s skills of a top notch DJ and a producer shine through on “Zorbanissimo”, a funky mid-tempo track enriched by the tasty percussion and vibes. “Beach Mambo” is another tasty treat rich with Cuban heritage. For those more partial to the dance floor beats, there’s “Autumn Dreamy, an energetic ambient groover. “Smoothly Morning” is another funky gem filled with soothing chords. “Wild Strawberry Jelly” features a funky bassline and the beats to keep the dance floor crowded. All in all, “The Exotic Delight Bay” is indeed a tropical delight and a crowning achievement. Let’s hope there’s more where this came from.
Reg Dancy, 07/09
Azymuth - Demos (1973-75) Volumes 1&2Far Out Recordings
"Demos Vol 1 & 2" are Azymuth releases taken from reel to reel and cassette recordings from 1973-75. These recordings took place at the late Jose Roberto Bertrami's home studio in Laranjeiras, Rio De Janeiro. When he shopped these demos to various labels around Brazil he was turned away. One listen and it's clear that this vibrant mix of samba, jazz and rock was free flowing fusion that was ahead of it's time. There are brillant performances featured right from the start with "Prefacio". This spirited tune is highlighted by Bertrami's fiery work on keys and Ivan "Mamao" Conti's intense drumming. "Laranjeiras" and "Equipe" are slow burning soulful funk tunes. They pick up the intensity once again on tracks like "Duro de Roer" and "Castelo". Alex Malheiros funky bass builds a steady groove for Bertrami and Conti to let loose. Credit producer Joe Davis for finally bringing this project to light. It's certainly their most experimental work that stands tall alongside their classic recordings.
Reg Dancy, 06/19
Azymuth - FenixFar Out
One of the crown jewels of Brazil for over forty years, Azymuth returns with their first album in five years. "Fenix" captures their wide range of rhythms, from jazzy fuk to sun drench fusion. Keyboardist Kiko Continentino fills the huge shoes created by the passing of long time member Roberto Bertrami and his energy shines throughout here. Take for instance his spacey chords on "Fenix" which complements Alex Malheiros funky bass grooves. "Orange Clouds" is warm and sublime Brazilian Jazz. "Carumb" is their signature brand of "Samba Doido" aka crazy Samba laced with spirited percussion from Ivan Conti. Longtime fans will be pleased to find the group once again on top of their game.
Reg Dancy, 03/17