Sunday, 5 February 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #49 - Azari & III, "Azari & III"

Everything I've heard of Azari & III up until now, I've loved. So this album is going to have to work pretty hard to fuck up my good vibrations. A classy House revival number like this will always get my thumbs up.

A carnivorous attitude to enjoying themselves and (as with The 2 Bears) very much on the up. But this is a less communal vibe, this is eyes locked across the dancefloor. More than just eyes: sweaty bodies and all that. I'm not sure whether this is just association on account of nights spent in sweaty rooms taking in the detail of other bodies, but this is not the music of escapism. It's a willing indenture. Maybe it's the titles - "Reckless with Your Love", "Hungry for the Power", "Manhooker", "Tunnel Vision". It's not a trip to the moons of Saturn, is it? It's not an astral expedition to the Himalayas of the soul. It's about getting nasty.

But I like to think that there's part of the music that also lights up the more tingly circuits in the middle parts of the brain - not primal, not lizard; but the more mammalian, glandular parts of human nature. Most of the frequencies sit within that cocaine-friendly, AOR upper register - all handclaps and congas, no Millenial doomy bass-bins. All tongues and the hairs on the neck, all electrical, all skin. No guts, all shimmering glory.

Nice cover art as well: an Empire State handjob. Ambition is the utter appetite that burns through the middle of this album. Everything is there for the taking. Even the architecture.

"Infinity" (as you might expect) and "Change of Heart" reach out a little further for the phasers: the latter with acid arpeggios, a sleeker 4 to the floor mechanism and a breathy female vocal line, drifting over and over.

By the time we're at "Undecided" the keyboard stabs and bouncing bass thums are reaching a febrile sense of urgency again and cavernous paranoia - "Undecided/Is there something not true/Inbetween me and you"? Even touches of Prince to the vocals here - maybe laying a finger on exactly the sexually ambigious spot where Mr Nelson used to hang out. The she with desire in her eyes in the closer "Manic" is "so schizophrenic" and they give her the soundtrack to match.

It's not out in the UK yet - but there is a link here - on their website.

Rating: Steaming out of Every Pore

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