Aabaraki pays tribute to two legendary postmortem singer/songwriters, covering a Classic cover of a classic on The Pre-Release EP, available for free download here.
The Hathaway cover:
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The John Lennon original:
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Comprised of four talented working musicians: Brian Forbes (guitar), Ari Folman-Cohen (bass), Aaron “BLACKDATA” Steele (Drums), and Aamir “Akie” Bermiss (vocals/keys), Aabaraki has been playing their own brand of reduction-stutter-funk together as a unit since the spring of ’09. Separately, they have worked with an impressive range of musicians and producers including Roy Hargrove, Soulive, Patti Smith, The American Symphony Orchestra, Megahertz (Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, P. Diddy), and Jimmy Lenner (John Lennon, Pink Floyd, Donna Summer).
The current EP reveals a vulnerability (“Terrified,” “Save Me”) and predation (“Girl,” “Big Bad Wolf”) that’s quite common among us humanfolk. Vocalist Aamir “Akie” Bermiss accomplishes this with keys-in-hand, and tongue-in-cheek as he channels the American Everyman. A reflection of our culture, Akie’s creative use of satire is best exemplified halfway through the EP in the up-tempo “Big Bad Wolf:” ‘Haters hate, players play, girl don’t front on me just get undressed. Now you’re free, follow me, to the deepest depths of desire.’
The band is funky, harmonic, minimal, and is consistent throughout the EP, each musician sticking closely to the sound of his instrument without relying on heavy effects that might alter it beyond recognition. They are retro but not throwback, progressive but not cold. In other words, Reduction-stutter-funk at its best. ☺
Aabaraki will be playing in NYC at Fontana’s on September 9th and Rockwood Music Hall every subsequent Thursday. They are also working on a follow-up to The Pre-Release EP to be released in the fall. In the meantime, make sure you download the current project here.