Thursday, January 9, 2020

Album Review: Son Swagga - Dark Magic

Son Swagga
Dark Magic
***and1/2 out of *****

The Dutch collective Son Swagga is a nine piece outfit who get after it by tossing funk, reggae, jazz, rock and psych into a pot then blend the ingredients for hours on end. The second full length release from the band titled Dark Magic is all about the groove as it rolls out killer sounds fit for late night jam sessions. 

The opening title track sets the tone with a funk bass and rock overtures that ebb and flow around synth flourishes and a huge mid song horn solo, an invigorating start to Dark Magic. The follow ups "Namensi" and "Wayra" veer more towards smooth jazz with rolling textures and sounds and the group never sounds hurried or scattered, letting the groove dominate.

The organ leads the way for "Neith" which amps up the percussion and horn blasts as it swells resulting in one of the highlights on the record while "Sage" is a softer excursion. The funk gets picked back up on the pumping "Nahuel"another bright spot on a record full of them while album closer "Golem" starts off ethereal before moving slightly towards free jazz improvisation to wrap up the strong effort. 

The band (Felix Back - Keys, Robin Engelhard - Electric Guitar, Azubike Onwuka - Electric Bass, Jonathan Szegedi - Drums, Yannick van ter Beek - Percussion, Bo Floor - Trumpet, Andrius Dereviancenko - Tenor Saxophone, Dirk Zandvliet - Baritone Saxophone, Alex van Abeelen - Trombone) work together to shine brightly throughout Dark Magic, a smooth and exciting funky jazz release.
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