Is there anything better than bouncing around with enthused contentment whilst snarling at the political and social faults of the world, certainly not when it is with the latest album from Loud Apartment in the ears. It is a release which infests and provokes body and thought in equal measure; simultaneously an angry roar compelling participation and a feel good experience to devour.
Loud Apartment is a NYC-based funk art collective created in 2008 by vocalist/musician Nevaris A.C., a band creating a sound fusing the rich essences of funk, soul and rock whilst embracing Latin, reggae, dub and hip hop influences. Their debut album Get Up Get Down was released in 2012, luring eager attention and acclaim; something the band’s current line-up seeing turntablist DJ Logic, multi-instrumentalist Peter Apfelbaum (flute/sax), guitarist Will Bernard, drummer Lockatron, and legendary musician/producer Bill Laswell on bass alongside Nevaris, is now more than matching with System Breakdown. Also produced by Laswell, the release is a striking, quickly addictive proposition which, though Loud Apartment began recording it in the January of 2020 before things were halted by the Covid-19 pandemic, is lyrically inspired and ignited by emerging events, Nevaris writing “new lyrics that reflected his anger at the current administration.”
No Justification is first up within System Breakdown and immediately hips were overcome by the rhythmic stroll come prowl of the song. Vocals and brass only escalate its controlled but addictive swing, keys a pulsating, appetite caressing coaxing to further indulge in. The track is superb; a Class A addiction lingering long beyond its presence though the quickly following Enough is Enough and its subsequent companions tightly grip their own portion of thick attention.
The second track is a soothing yet provocative encounter, keys and melodies a smooch upon the senses as rhythms offer their own gentle incitement. Within the warm saunter though, Nevaris spotlights the world and invites thoughts, his generally calm magnetic tones picking their spot with sharp insight and intent. Almost ethereal in its air, the song is a haunting pleasure while its successor, Going Down, is a manipulative shuffle led by the tenacious incitement of bass and drums. The rock ‘n’ roll fire in its belly erupts in a blaze of a chorus, an escalation of the organic drama and intensity a lively simmering around it.
System Breakdown is well worth checking out just from these three tracks alone but the likes of Hot Like the Sun and Restless swiftly show there is so much more to greedily embrace. The first of the two is a dub hued, soul bearing canter through ears; its funk bred fertility again viral to body and appetite with extra sizzle through the dextrous craft of Bernard with the second urging similar listener endeavour in limb and throat with its own individual theatre of enterprise, flavour, and sound.
Though impossible to pick an outright favourite song, The Thrill is Good always has the juices flowing, its pop contagion and funk incitement over a rhythmic throb which simply ignited the soul as irresistible as it is enthralling. Again Loud Apartment cast a palette of styles and flavours upon ears like an artist weaves colours upon canvas, the track almost rapturous in its call but inescapably imposing in its bold contagion.
The final pair of Gimme Some Love and Dub Enough ensures the album keeps the highs constant, the first a cosmopolitan jaunt aflame with clement bursts of brass whilst wrapped in the summery smiles of Hammond keys. Yet it is also a bubbling infection, guitars and rhythms esuriently lively and matched by Nevaris’ ever rousing vocals while the closing track immerses the senses and imagination in a landscape of suggestion and arousal as the album’s second song is given kaleidoscopic aural temptation.
System Breakdown has been out a few weeks now but more than ever feels ripe for any moment experienced now and to come and is sure to re-ignite spirits which may inevitably be flagging. It is also one of the most accomplished and enjoyable musical treats of recent times, so quite simply give Loud Apartment a dose of your attention.
System Breakdown is available via Nolej Records @ https://loudapartment.bandcamp.com/album/system-breakdown
Pete RingMaster 12/01/2021