Disaster Relief: Back Into It LP (Ravine Records, 2021)

February 17, 2022 at 5:43 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Disaster Relief: Back Into It LP

Ann Arbor’s Disaster Relief don’t specify if their album title is supposed to mean “put your back into it” or “get back into it”, but it could have either meaning. It’s their first album in 3 years, of course following the halting of live shows due to the pandemic. Besides that, it’s just super funky, danceable, vibe-heavy music. Lead by Darrin James, this album’s lineup of Disaster Relief also features Dan Bennett of Afrobeat fusionists NOMO and synth-funk mystery man Josef Deas. It has a similar blend of jazz, funk, and Afrobeat, but there’s also a Greek wedding dance, “Kalamatian√≥s for Alexander”, and the complex polyrhythms of the highlife-ish “Beach Song”. “Ostinato Eleven” also has tricky time signatures yet doesn’t seem challenging or obtuse. Worth mentioning is the fact that the group also recently collaborated with Detroit living legend Thornetta Davis on a bluesy single.

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