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Azania by Aidan Mason

Equal parts joyous and melancholy combined with sophistication and melody, Aidan Mason experiments with a musical movement called ‘Azania’ a mix of classical nylon string guitar and the sound of the modern keyboard.

On the song "Azania" Mason develops a nice rhythm pattern. "Dragon Pattern" has the soft sounds of a keyboard oriented oboe sound. Peter Cardinalli lays down a nice fretless bass on "Where Two Oceans Meet" - not the traditional walking bass style but a style that is familiar to some - a slight bounce to it. There is a lot of conga playing throughout this album but it does not drown out the desired affect. This album is full of little patterns that can develop when played with the right players and those who are aware of the Azania styles.

The keyboard is not used as a traditional keyboard as say a Smith or DeFrancesco would. It is more used to add bottom end to the guitar work of Mason. It is evident in the first song called "Reason To Live." Shaker playing Brian Leonard adds some small spice to this song. There are some non noticeable samples in this album. They are mostly put in the background that if you listen closely you can pick out. They are keyboard samples played by Mason.

All in all this is a relaxing album. Coming from the roots of South Africa and bringing this fairly unknown style of music to North America and well to the rest of the world outside of South Africa, Aidan Mason and his band mates have accomplished that. Mason’s guitar playing is magnificent.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Aidan Mason
  • CD Title: Azania
  • Genre: World Music
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Alma Records
  • Tracks: Reason To Live, 49 Caxton Street, Sonora, View From A Distance, Angle Of The Earth, Azania, Hotel De Paris, Dragon Passion, Where Two Oceans Meet, Space King
  • Musicians: Aidan Mason (guitars, keyboards), Peter Cardinali (keyboards, bass), Jorn Andersen (drums), Gary Graig (drums), Rick Lazar (congas, chimes, bongos), Brian Leonard (tamborine, bell tree, shakers)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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