The warmth of the dancefloor. The energy of the dancers who occupy it. The thunderous bassline, which greets us at the door and draws us deeper and deeper towards the epicenter of vigor. The feverish percussion that beats like a lustful heart in the throes of passion. The methodical way that the verses seem to be imprinted into the bursts of tone and melody like a rich watermark. The sweat, the movement, the sheer vitality of the nightclub environment has been so intoxicating to mankind that, for generations now, many of us have made it the focal point of our offline social lives. This is where we come to cut loose and throw ourselves into the commotion of the large crowd. The artists charged with keeping that energy alive and burning hot have quite the burden to bear. But when a brilliant composer like Calazzus comes around and releases something like his new The Calazzus Project II extended play, it makes the load a little heavier on the contemporary artists trying to keep up with him.
Calazzus is based out of Suitland-Silver Hill, Maryland, a suburb of our nation’s capital, and has been igniting a lot of buzz around the Washington D.C.-New York City corridor lately, mostly thanks to his reputation for having a devoted, unshakable work ethic in the studio and humble attitude in the arts community. He shows a lot of respect for the composers who came before him on The Calazzus Project II as well, especially on tracks like “I’m So Into Ya,” a high energy throwback to 90s electronica merged with angelic vocals from the multitalented Christina R. Lyrically she stirs our soul by painting a picture of two people falling desperately, recklessly in love with each other, and finding that the very love that brought them together is going to get them through any challenge, no matter how difficult. The lyrics are matched with a fun beat that will make even the most committed of wallflowers get onto the floor and shake, and a giant bass that could cause an earthquake if left to its own devices.
The Calazzus Project II features three other skilled vocalists in addition to Christina R that make the extended play feel a lot more like a full-length LP. Liz Anne Hill burns up the microphone on the freewheeling “Higher Ground” and hard rocking “Right Place Right Time,” while Shauna Cardwell contributes seductive, velvet like serenading on “Asking For,” and Thir13teen absolutely destroys on the hard R&B jam “Movies,” which could be a quite explosive single if it were to be released on its own. Each one of these gifted singers adds a different flavor and poetic prose to Calazzus’ blistering harmonies and adrenaline filled synthesizers. The diversity between each one of them is very appeasing to the ear, and instead of feeling like a thrown together mixtape, this feels like a thrilling ensemble picture, loaded down with numerous complex and intriguing characters. In that spirit, Calazzus joins the ranks with the best storytellers in the business on this awesome, well-produced offering.
by Eli Gattis
Dallas String Quartet stretches artistic boundaries just far enough where the listener doesn’t lose track …