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Hidden Truths

Isaac Aesili

Bastard Jazz Recordings
BJLP26 | 2020-03-27  
Bastard Jazz is proud to present the sophmore solo album by one of the gems of the New Zealand underground soul scene, Isaac Aesili. Woven through electronic soul, with threads of jazz, funk, R&B and house music, Isaac's ‘Hidden Truths’ is the stylistic unification of all his previous projects (Karl Marx, Funkommunity, Sorceress) into a dazzling and diverse body of work. Three years in the making, its depth is clear from the first listen, and is peppered with some of New Zealand’s finest soul and jazz musical talent, including two stunning female feature vocalists from New Zealand; Ladi6 and Rachel Fraser.

The album opens with an ominous instrumental ‘Mirror’ setting a dark a tone for the album the start, shimmering with shades of Dilla swing snapping over metallic chords and a graceful trumpet solo that enters midway through. Wild feat. Ladi6’ is a heavy downbeat future soul joint with stratospheric synths layered over driving beats that build alongside the elegant vocal weavings of New Zealand's first lady of soul, Ladi6, while ‘Player’ sees Isaac’s unique vocals tell a tale of dangerous seduction within a synth funk-driven dancehall cum house music that feels like the Gap Band on a tropical vacation. ‘Jungles’ is a deep, native and ocean-like soundscape that begins with syncopated synths and beats that collide dramatically into a frantic, sweeping synth outro, followed up by‘Realms’ , an intricately crafted song that has sonic elements from techno-house that are other-worldly accompanied by live drums that flip after the breakdown into a swinging conclusion of the album's first half.

‘Run Every Way’ is an epic percussion-driven electronic blues that begins with a vocal chorus from Isaac that could just as easily be interpreted lyrically as a warning about climate change as it could an expression of the inner-self, while "Refugee" is also a heavily percussion orientated joint that fuses romantic classical strings with otherworldly synth stabs and Isaac’s haunting vocals moving climactically into a tender coda conclusion. "Rain Gods" feat. Rachel Fraser is a heavenly pathway into Rachel’s luxurious vocals with clever lyrics merging the soaring synths and looped bassline into a short yet memorable chorus‘and ‘Steps’ is classic Isaac Aesili production including deep Rhodes chord changes, a knocking beat with layers of percussion, synths and horns providing a warm emotive accompaniment to Isaac’s vocals. ‘Last Minute’ is a simple yet sophisticated jewel of space and time that concludes the vocal tracks of the album in a proper soulful style, and ‘Maureen’ rounds out the album as an expressive instrumental outrolude that features Isaac’s trumpet.

Isaac Aesili is an Internationally acclaimed solo artist and the producer and creative force behind Funkommunity, Sorceress and Karlmarx. Isaac’s original productions have been supported internationally by DJs such as Gilles Peterson (BBC Radio 6 Music), Benji B (BBC 1), and Lefto.

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