Azari & III: Azari & III – review

(Loose Lips Records)

Much of Azari & III's debut album concerns itself with the pleasures and costs of hedonistic excess, so it's fitting that the thing itself feels untrammelled to the point of superfluity. With 11 tracks running to just over an hour, there is simply too much music here, or at least, not enough variety in their startlingly nostalgic house sound. A crisp edit would usefully emphasise their greatest asset, namely Cedric Gasaida's honeyed falsetto vocals: they're enticingly seductive on Into the Night, while Reckless (With Your Love) gives the delicious impression that he spent some fruitful time in his youth pretending to be Grace Jones. The band are apparently so awed by Gasaida's voice that the backing tracks to these songs are structurally dull; far better are instrumentals that use it as a texture – it sounds great shimmering amid Change of Heart's needling synths, swooping across the aggressive pulse of Indigo. Both are pleasingly redolent of Caribou's Swim – if only Azari & III always aimed that high.


Maddy Costa

The GuardianTramp

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