Mas Aya Pockets

Mas AyaPockets
Mas Aya is an alter ego of Brandon Valdivia, a multitalented drummer in Toronto, ON, who has worked in intense free-improv (Not The Wind, Not The Flag), reggae (Friendliness and the Human Rights) and various Latin American contexts with equal inspiration. Reconciling these musical signposts would have to result in some pretty original points of connection, and that's the story here; Valdivia is the type of musician who demonstrates the enthusiasm and open-mindedness required to accomplish this. While roots reggae is admittedly lacking, the sunburnt "Cumbia Del Sol" is most of the way there, with its Colombian dance groove graced by abrasive, droning electronics. This is followed by a full drum kit solo, "Find Each Other," which showcases his addictive, behind-the-beat sense of time, which threatens to become completely unhinged at any moment. However, a few ideas do go wrong, like the uninteresting Colombian gaita flute playing on "Las Venas Abiertas," which comes off better on "Pockets of Resistance." While this isn't a perfection-seeking recording, listening to it in its cassette format flatters the low end. (Tomaturj)