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Laroyê

22/11/21Hungarian Multi-Instrumentalist & Producer Àbáse Releases Polyrhythmic Debut Full-Length On Oshu Records

There's no doubt in our minds that the Berlin-based Hungarian producer and multi-instrumentalist Szabolcs Bognár, better known as Àbáse, is at the top of his class. We had an inkling when we first reviewed his 2019-released debut EP "Invocation" (HHV / Cosmic Compositions) and later rejoiced at the second serving "Yoru / Eko", two equally remarkable outtakes from the EP's recording session. Earlier this year, he collaborated with Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange drummer and producer Ziggy Zeitgeist on the critically acclaimed "Body Mind Spirit" EP, further adding to his outstanding rep. But now that his debut LP "Laroyê" was recently released out into the open via Oshu Records, we are proud to claim that, well, we knew it all along: Àbáse is destined for greatness.

Needless to say, we are not the only ones to have come to this realisation, seeing as Àbáse has already gained the support of a long and prestigious list of media outlets, celebrated tastemakers, like-minded artists and inspired collaborators. It may not come as a surprise then, that the trained keyboard player and prolific producer's name means 'collaboration' in the West African Yoruba language – collaboration also being "a key element of Àbáse's music, as he [continuously] brings together versatile artists from around the world to push genre and style boundaries." Àbáse's love for music and longstanding fascination with afro-brazilian culture, eventually led him on a five-month trip to Brazil, where he was able to "expand [his] creative horizon" and "expose [himself] to new influences." 

Recorded in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador with a Zoom recorder, Àbáse worked with diverse artists from the Brazilian scene, including Letieres Leite, Luciane Dom, Dofono d'Omulo, Afrojazz and more, as "Laroyê", his first solo project, began to take shape, an intricate audio diary of his travels. "Exploring the rich heritage of afro-brazilian culture through samba, MPB and Candomblé," and "[blending] these with [...] broken beat, hip hop and afrobeat, the album is a contemporary homage to the classic Brazilian sound." Indeed, "Laroyê" makes for tight listen, sonically dense and multifarious, with manifold musical treats and delicacies along the way, inviting listeners to a lush 55 minutes of 'headnoddery' and incredulous listening amidst"[an organically diverse] artistic dialogue of seemingly distant cultures" united in groove.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom