Various Artists - Sonar Kollectiv 4

Image For Various Artists - Sonar Kollectiv 4

(Sonar Kollektiv/Creative Vibes)

In the novel, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera ruminates on the concepts of ‘light’ and ‘weight’ experiences. With light being the easier sections, for example, a Britney Spears album would be considered light, with Tom Waits bringing up the weightier listening experience. With this compilation, Sonar Kollektiv’s 4, the team behind Sonar Kollektiv, Jazzanova, have successfully merged both the light and the weightier experiences into a group of songs by artists and groups around the world.

Jazzanova are five Berliners, whose inspiration is touted on their website as “Money, girls and high priced records” and influenced by “The whole world of black rooted music and a bit of the white one too”. The music that has come from both their work and their label has been consistently eclectic, soulful and a delight to listen to.

From the beginning with Dimlite’s Back To The Universe, what the PR sheets call ‘Darth Vader on acid…but that we will leave it up to you’. Can’t really fault their description on that one. A slow, techy beat has a slowed down vocal that reminds me of Australian band The Cloud’s song Domino where they slow down their female vocalist to the point that it sounds like a guy singing and putting on a funny voice. 

George Levin’s track, Inside, as remixed by Rima is a wonderfully off-beat track that would not be out of place in a jazz club. Levin has recently been working with Wahoo, whose song, Holding You remixed by AME, a group whose album I’ve heard recently, to be met with smooth, lusciously produced tech house. Their work on Wahoo’s track lives up to the other listening.

Kirkness by Faze Liquide is a jazz number, with a rolling drumbeat and languid horns sloping across the piano lines. This music is perfect background for any setting and is obvious to see why it is included. From Berlin comes Sygaire with Got To Be There, an electronic funk song that would make George Clinton proud, a chanting chorus group sing-along over the tight funk drums and squelchy bass line.

Capital A give hip hop styling with their track In The Mix, with a sweet hi-hat let drum track, the song is smooth styling, a loving tribute to the amazing feeling that pure music can give a person. It’s brought up by Outlines and Just a Little Lovin’, a broken beat song, with a vocal that is cut up, cd-skipping style to a song that lets you know what seems not quite right is in fact, all in the right place.

New sensations out of New Zealand Fat Freddy’s Drop feature on the album with their song Roady, a rolling reggae backed track. The tightness of this group shines out and their growing fan base is well understood just through this first song. Tricksi present Sunshinefu*k PT.1, an electro track that is almost all rhythm, the brief stabs throughout the song add to its tension making this a perfect soundtrack song, fit for a movie scene.

The output of this compilation from the Sonar Kollektiv label give only one impression, if you’re a fan of jazz, broken beat or simply electronic music in all the wonderfully free forms it can take, then this is the label for you. Check out this sampler of free listening for a good time.

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