Weaving bright and multicolored strands of programmed sounds and live instrumentation into a lavish and virtually seamless fabric, Radio Citizenâ€™s Berlin Serengeti, as the title suggests, is a transcontinental journey. Fusing African, Arabic, Latin, and European 60â€™s-era jazz and trippy rock sounds with a modern twist, the album balances vocal and instrumental tunes with wailing horns, driving yet nuanced drum tracks and sultry vocalsâ€”all enveloped in a smoke cloud of cinematic mystique.
Niko Schabel, 27, the German musician/producer behind Radio Citizen, wears his many hats impressively well, as writer, producer, programmer, and instrumentalist, playing saxophone, clarinet, flute, keys, and percussion on the record. The deceptively vintage sounding vocals are provided by Bajka, a versatile and classy singer with diverse international musical influences. Overall, the few hip-hop-ish cuts fall a little short of the mark (to my New York ear), but the dark and moody jazz instrumentals and memorable vocal contributions that make up most of the album are perfect heady lounge music. Download it from Dancetracks Digital or purchase it from Turntable Lab or Amazon.
by DJ Scribe