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Aka Moon - Unison CD (album) cover

UNISON

Aka Moon

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.96 | 4 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Back to business after some health issues of one member, just one look could have you guess that AM's latest album Unison is in the general direction of Amazir and Culture Griot, based on the album's artwork that is now typical of their production for the Cypress label. And you'd be completely wrong about this issue, because it's rather a 180 turn and Aka goes back to its roots, so far so that you'd guess in a blind test that you're dealing with some kind of long-lost album from 92 or 93. Yes, just Hatzi, Galland and Cassol alone, with no guest to change their sound; even Fiorini (which had become thought of as the "fourth Aka") is conspicuously absent.

This return-to-roots direction is plainly evident right from the first note of Omax 1 and keep going right on through Michel Is Back (is that Hatzi or soundman Andina?) and then throughout the album. Indeed, we're dealing with a progressive kind of jazz that change rhythm, time sigs and melodies constantly. Some slight hints might tell you that we are 20 years into the AM's musical endeavour and one of them is Galland's sometimes over-mixed drums - notably in For Drummers Only, where he solos as well, the the following slightly mid-eastern Mirror. Most of the rest of tracks are of the same acabit/ilk, and the album is pretty even throughout.

So if you liked their debut album or its rework, you're bound to love Unison, because even if not a carbon-copy, it's really sonically close to the band's genesis. A really high-quality release, even if somewhat less adventurous than their previous few, but if one wants to hear where Culture Griot is leading, you might want to check Fabrizzio Cassol's latest album Strange Fruit, where the African direction continues. In the meantime, Unison while an excellent album, might not be as essential as its predecessors, because it's been done before, some 20 years ago.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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