(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Recording Review - Atomga, AGA (2018)

Atomga continues to bring the funk


It was true when I first started listening to music and it continues today: I'll find a band or performer and fall in love with their sound. That drives my list of must-buy releases, of necessary concerts. Some artists drift away from my true heart -- either because they changed or I did. Some, like David Bowie, slide back while others just drive fond memories of favorite albums.

I hold that love, but each new encounter, I test it to see if the spark is still there. Listening to Atomga's latest EP, AGA, I'm happy to bask in their funky glow once again. Several of these songs have been concert mainstays for a while, but it's nice to hear the recordings.

In particular, "Opia" grabs my ears. The chill opening guitar vamp is quickly joined by their inimitable horn section. Unless you're talking about the jazz greats, a group of horns often sacrifices their personality, saving individual character for their solos. The Atomga brass maintains their unique voices even as they blend. Leah Concialdi's deep bari sax is especially bouncy.

The tune spins out for a while before singer LaSha "Calyptic" Afarko's joins in, with a casual soulful tone. The arrangement is sweet, with every piece falling perfectly into place.