Dinamo Azari is an artist revitalized. Extending into new waters, rich with promise, the Montreal-born, Toronto-based musician-producer behind the global phenomenon Azari & III returns with new solo album ‘Estranged’, released on February 16th 2016 on The Vinyl Factory.
The first single is Victim – released November 6th - a pulsing opening shot, ripe with indignation, featuring singers Fritz Helder and Starving Yet Full, who lent Azari & III their distinctive vocals.
The crossover success of his previous band’s raucous, hedonistic, revitalization of classic house - with hits such as ‘Reckless (With Your Love)’ and ‘Hungry For The Power’ - brought game-changing concerts all over the world. After such extensive touring the solo Azari returns to Toronto for rejuvenation and inspiration on his solo debut.
“Toronto has a thriving, young scene and it was imperative I stay close to it,” Dinamo enthuses. “The feeling is underground, rebellious, late night warehouse and loft events. I’m staying close to my roots and the results are on the record.”
“The city has a unique sound and I wanted to acknowledge that.” Dinamo explains, “It’s proximity to meccas such as New York, Detroit, Chicago and Montreal give it a rich heritage, but it’s very much its own thing. Although it’s never really been in the spotlight, Toronto has its own true, original soundtracks.”
Speaking to all cultures through tones and vocal harmonies, the music throughout ‘Estranged’ maintains the retro-tinted bubbliness of Azari’s past but also heads somewhere grittier, tougher and much further into the nightworld - from analog machine-based 4/4 to the raw, minimal, darker sides of disco and house.
New voices include James Ken Bailey, who appears on the title track 'Estranged', ‘Santo (Fear & Desire)’ and ‘Break Me’. His soulful, emotive vocals match the lush, minimal production of the album’s title track and create a sweet contrast to the stark, jackin’ house of ‘Break Me’. Another discovery is Ahmad Larnes, from Queens, New York via Berlin, appearing on the Balearic houser ‘Edge of Control’ and album opener ‘Witchwood’.
Fritz Helder, is one of Dinamo’s oldest friends, and crops up solo on the pared back and funky ‘Drexl’, replete with its “Black don’t crack” refrain and provocative lyrics (“Black niggers wanna be white off the deep end/White niggers wanna be black on the weekend”).
Other guests include Nick Fiorucci who collaborates on ‘Haçienda’, a reinterpretation of his own 1989 rave classic, the piano line of which was the basis for so many early ‘90s hardcore classics (Slipmatt & Lime, Altern-8, Carl Cox, etc).
With a past that speaks loudly for itself, Dinamo has a new manifesto. He’s taking things into the future with an album that speaks to both the underground heads and the podium party people.
Published: 30th October 2015