Micatone Nomad Songs

The six members of German down-tempo jazz outfit Micatone return from the studio after a period of extensive touring and work on individual solo projects, and present their third album for release on Jazzanova’s Sonar Kollektiv label. Nomad is a sonic departure from their past work, with the focus this time directed more at live instrumentation and exposing the individual talents of each of the groups integrants. The approach pays off, as the relatively acoustic sounds of the band’s four players are each able to shine through more clearly, while allowing more than enough space for singer Lisa Bassenge’s silky-smooth voice to have it’s notably soothing effect. The record opens with "Mars,” on which Bassenge’s voice is transmitted into the mix as if through a radio, over soft atmospherics and light guitar chords, before moving to a slight jazz swing and then erupting into a heavy, laidback groove. The band lapses into a lazy, skankin’ dub reggae mood on "Trouble Boy,” then bounces back up with the electronic shuffle and stuttered accordion of "Nomad”, with Bassenge’s voice sounding a lot at times like that of LAL songstress Rosina Kazi. Micatone close out this sonically solid outing with "Circle,” a track that oscillates between rhythms, and from sparse sounds of guitar and drum to a rich arrangement of synthesised strings, horns and swinging percussion. Nomad Songs is a definite showing of maturation by a group formerly counted as simply one of many in the down-tempo field. (Sonar Kollektiv)