Music for 2/11/21!!! Venezonix, Rafiki Jazz

@@@ Venezonix: La Que Es (Nacional, 2021) Some Latin electro I got to via the WRIR weekly playliste email. A little techno, a little funky dancefloor, there is a stew of rhythms here. Overall the mix is pleasantly crowded but not quite as hard hitting as I would like. The synths sort of soften up the business here and take it in a lounge-y direction. One foot in the lounge eating fancy food, and the other foot on the dancefloor but not too much sweat. Oh wait, I’m all jammed up and that track was the first track and now we have the track going now. Female singer, more traditional while retaining some electro elements. The singer really changes the vibe here, take a lead synth out and put a human in there. We even get a second singer, a dude to complement the uplifting female singer that started the vocalizing. What unites the record is the sophisticated dare I say ‘adult’ sound and arrangements. It’s high minded and I know tons of people love that. I like it all right but it’s not my favorite, it’s a tad too polite for my taste.

@@@ Rafiki Jazz: Har Chand Sahara (Konimusic, 2019) I couldn’t find the latest album by Rafiki Jazz up on the Apple Music but this 2019 effort is up there so I thought I would check it out. It’s labelled as Sufi and I believe it has devotional roots to it. A collection of singers, hand drummers, a couple of stringed instruments, and amazingly a steel drum, I don’t know what else that instrument would be besides a steel drum. The production is unfortunately a little New Age for my taste — big reverb patch on the singer’s voices and a comforting collection of sounds presented for listener comfort. Smoothing reverb here is mostly my protests. I just Googled this and it’s supposed to be a spread of instruments from across the world for a reason as all the members of the group hail from very different places. I love the formula but the sounds not as much.

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