Friday, September 12, 2008

INCOGNITO: Tales From The Beach

Last June 24, Incognito released globally its 13th album, carrying 15 uplifting tracks that showcase the classic vibe this U.K. band has pioneered.

TALES FROM THE BEACH is a reference to bandleader Bluey's musical metamorphosis since his childhood on the island of Mauritius off the coast of Madagascar.  "At the age of five I heard local musicians play on the sandy beaches of my native island.  Captivated, I concluded that this was the life for me.  Lost inside the rhythm, I listened as folkloric tales were transformed into songs."  Bluey adds, "For inspiration for this album, I went back to various beaches around the world--in Italy, Indonesia and elsewhere--and just let the music flow."

The musician reveals that the album features some of his most poignant writing ever, letting loose a lot from his system through the individual tracks.  STEP ASIDE is a declaration of independence made emphatic with blaring horns and a pulsating bass line.  SUN COMES DOWN (recorded in one take by Tony Momrelle) explores the potential virtues and perils of making an emotional lea of faith.  I REMEMBER THE TIME is a ballad that dissects a heart-wrenching break up.  And the lis goes on....

My particular favorites include N.O.T. (No Ordinary Thing) with its bouncy and spacey keyboard patches; WHEN WORDS ARE JUST WORDS, which curiously features a guitar on distortion mode weaving through Maysa Leak's (she has four lead tracks in the album--yahoo!) rich vocals; and LOVE JOY UNDERSTANDING, which more than satisfies my craving to dance.  But I predict that I REMEMBER A TIME will be a mainstay in the playlist of jazz stations here.

It has only been months since Incognito brought the house down at Sofitel's Sunset Pavilion during the band's show in Manila.  And now, we can extend the euphoria with the group's new album.  The Concord Music Group notes, "An ongoing work in progress more than a band in the traditional sense, Incognito is a creative melting pot that captures the most infectious, dance-oriented beats from around the globe and distills them into an upbeat, high-octane blend."  TALES FROM THE BEACH proves this most definitively.

Let the ebb and flow of Incognito's TALES FROM THE BEACH take you from moments bittersweet and melancholy to highs of hope and positivity.  That message, says Bluey, is no accident.  "When people come to Incognito gigs, they're saying, 'Look, man, give us something.'  They come as if they're in need of some kind of healing, or some kind of wisdom.  I'm not a doctor or a prophet, so all I can do is give them something through the music and the message in the music.  That ends up being part of the band's greater goal, whether we're on stage or in the studio--to bring people together, to be a platform to energize people."  The new album does just that.

Get your copies soon, people.

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