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AJ Unity - Sweet Roses

AJ Unity

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

THE debut album from AJ Unity is a chilled out hybrid of Massive Attack and Morcheeba, with a little Ryuichi Sakamoto and classical music thrown in.

They aspire to some lofty ambitions in their PR, claiming that their message is “to think outside the box” and “to freely express important parts of what defines us as human beings, such as finding inner strength and showing kindness towards other people”.

It’s a noble intent, but one that also drifts towards pretentiousness.

Fortunately, they’re kind of saved by the quality of their compositions. Comprised of London-based musicians Naomi Suzuki and Philipp M.Moll, they have joined forces with Rune Langhelle, a producer of the moment based in Bergen, Norway, to deliver their debut album, Sweet Roses.

The result is highly accomplished and often quite enriching in a chillout kind of way.

Highlights include the tender opener Rose, which blossoms from something cinematic to something quite intimate and beautiful, and Morning, which adds some brooding beats to the atmospheric synths, as well as a boy-girl vocal trade-off reminiscent of Massive Attack.

It’s no small compliment to suggest that it could provide the backing music to a trendy London restaurant or nightspot such as Roka.

Jupiter samples the piano chords of Amazing Grace to offer an interesting variation on a classical theme, A Million Others has some lush synth flourishes that are reminiscent of Vangelis and Sakamoto, and Adagio rounds things off in suitably graceful fashion with some compositions that generally entrance.

Occasionally, their sound is too stripped back (Graceful, for instance). But in the main, this is an interesting and often quite beautiful new chillout act who are worth keeping an eye on.

Naomi Suzuki is a multi-talented model, actress, singer, presenter, producer, and songwriter who recently reached No12 in the UK Club Charts and hada documentary film about her broadcast on BBC TV.

Moll, meanwhile, has managed to establish his name on the London music scene thanks to his production of Killerfernandez’ debut Feitaboogie, which enjoyed several airplays and interviews on BBC3.

His further music production credits include Astronaut Films, Ministry Of Sound, Swarovski, Modem Media and Bottlefed Physical Theatre.

As a duo, they seem to have found a very nice match.

Download picks: Rose, Morning, Jupiter, Adagio, A Million Others

Track listing:

  1. Rose
  2. Morning
  3. Everyday Memories
  4. Jupiter
  5. Dreaming
  6. A Million Others
  7. Graceful
  8. Adagio