Loud Apartment/System Breakdown album review

(Translated from Italian) “During the lockdown last spring, the second Loud Apartment album, “Refuge”, was released, containing the recording of a 2017 concert, played by a group of jazz musicians linked to the downtown scene.  from New York. The latest incarnation of Loud Apartment, born in early 2020, is totally different and sees Nevaris and Bill Laswell flanked by DJ Logic (cymbals), Peter Apfelbaum (winds), Will Bernard (guitars) and Lockatron (drums). The recordings of “System Breakdown” began last January, before the closures due to the pandemic, and continued during the lockdown which evidently affected the direction of the album, right from its title.

While the sound of “RefuGee” is muffled and poorly defined, the eight tracks of “System Breakdown” sound very clear and powerful. The lineup is an unstoppable sequence of groovesintoxicating funk-rap, elegantly arranged thanks to Apfelbaum’s saxophone and Laswell’s mastery, a true genius when it comes to creating a sound that holds together funk, rock, dub, rap and jazz. “No Justification” at the opening of the disc seems the hymn that Michael Franti has been trying to write for more than twenty years: bass and drums build the groove , voice and saxophone support the melody, while the cymbals and the guitar move in the background creating the suspension of the atmosphere of the piece. 

Laswell’s bass in all its glory resounds under Apfelbaum’s flute on the psychedelic dub of ‘Enough Is Enough’. On ‘Hot Like The Sun’ the atmosphere seems to bring the clock back to the golden age of soul-jazz. Peter Apfelbaum’s saxophone still plays the leading role with the landlord’s rap in the explosive funk-jazz of ‘Restless’ With ‘The Thrill Is Good’ Loud Apartments seem to try the pop card, thanks to a particularly captivating melodic hook. Before the long finale of ‘Dub Enough’ there is also room for the futuristic blues of ‘Gimme Some Love’.”

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