Denver, Colorado-based ATOMGA has just released its first full-length album "Black Belt" which captures the "world-funk fury" that has become the band's signature sound. While the music is rooted in fantastic afrobeat rhythms, the soulful vocals and pulsating horns defy simple categorization. We think they are one of the most original and exciting bands that we've heard in quite some time.
ATOMGA is also a band whose onstage presence make them a real breakout candidate. The ten member troupe captivates audiences with both their stage presence and their hypnotically grooving songs. Check out the dynamic performance by the band (featuring uber-cool baritone sax work from Leah Concialdi) in the video below.
Readers of this blog know how much we love afrosoul and vintage African funk (check out our playlists: Vintage African Soul and Afro Disco). We can honestly say that ATOMGA captures those amazing vintage sounds better than any recent band that we've heard, while at the same time, maintaining their own unique identity that brings invigorating life into each track. The band has said that they have created "a style of their own blossoming into an original brand of music slathered with influences ranging from classic funk, Brazilian pop, progressive rock, and beyond." We couldn't agree more!
We first featured ATOMGA on our May 2015 version of The Tasty Turntable playlist. We followed that up with a feature on Volume 4 of THE HAPPY indie HOUR. You can bet that they will continue to be featured in future lists as well.
A recent listen to the band's new release “Black Belt” found the band in fine form. One of our favorite tracks is the Grant Phabao remix of "Alaskan Pipeline." As the band notes in the press release for "Black Belt", "both the lyrics and compositions are results of more experience and a musical chemistry that is not afraid to break barriers and try anything. Rather than entering the studio with a catalogue with material ready to go, ATOMGA would polish 2-3 songs at once and record them in small batches. This kept the group fresh and able to display a multitude of influences rather of thinking about the album on a conceptual level. However, when the final track list and song order were crafted, everything flowed effortlessly with no song out of place." We think this is a spot-on description of "Black Belt" we also think that ATOMGA is a band to keep your eyes (and ears) on! Check out their website at atomga.com and listen to more great tracks here: