05/07/2024Berlin-Based Hungarian Producer & Keyboarder Àbáse Manifests The Revelatory Nature Of Life On Second LP

These days, it is becoming increasingly apparent to us that mindfulness is of the essence and at the root of being able to grow together and progress in this world of ours. One might call it 'being in the moment,' but that too demands a heightened sense of awareness, of sensing and feeling one's surroundings and manifesting one's own presence on Earth. It's the reciprocity of being part of a whole while also participating and contributing to the latter, or simply playing one's part. Similarly, Hungarian producer and keyboarder Szabolcs Bognár, aka Àbáse, has long since been on a personal quest for "cosmic grooves of unity," searching, listening and trusting in his intuition to lead him there.

"Recent years have found [Àbáse] especially mindful of the life cycle in all its biological and spiritual definitions as his personal and musical paths have dovetailed in profound ways: the realisation of Àbáse from a spark of imagination to actuality, his immersion in the Candomble faith, a move from [his] native Hungary to Berlin, marriage, new parenthood, and the inevitable interrogation of mortality that takes place when a loved one has transitioned," writes Jeff Mao, on the occasion of Àbáse's latest longplayer. Releasing today on Oshu Records /Analogue Foundation and fittingly titled "Awakening", this latest oeuvre of his marks a "creative rebirth" and a newfound sense of meaning on this ever so bumpy terrain. Three years down the road from his debut LP "Laroyê" (read more here), "'Awakening' coalesces Àbáse's varied musical influences and reference points (classic Lagos afrobeat, traditional Hungarian folk, Yoruba rhythms, house and techno, hip hop et al) with the exquisite modal improvisation spurred by Szabi's introspection."

"Awakening" reveals a remarkable balance and raison d'être, combining the innate urge to exist, the conscious recognition that there are indeed levels to this and the musical reaffirmation of the metaphysical realm, as in the highly coveted harmony of the universe. To Àbáse himself, the term 'awakening' conveys the idea of coming into this life, opening one's eyes for the very first time and being welcomed into this world by the distant, yet familiar sounds once perceived from the womb, now imminent and omnipresent. The album however also manifests the cyclical nature of life with all its highs and lows, orbiting sounds taking unprecedented twists and turns, rooted in afro-spiritual traditions yet seeking higher realms of contemplation with jazz as the ultimate of sonic vessels. "Awakening" in and of itself is a revelation in the truest of meanings. You can watch a live performance video of the album's lead single "Destruction Everywhere" recorded at Berlin's audiophile Bar Neiro below.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom