Friday, 20 December 2013

AZARI & III live review for FACT


Niall Connolly is a UK-based producer and writer who releases music under the name CVNT. He’s also co-founder of the queer collective Tranachy, and hosts vogue/drag balls across the UK. He was at Manchester’s Warehouse Project for the last UK show by Azari & III, a Canadian group whose take on house music not only draws from the sounds of classic Chicago, but also the “marginalised black / gay club” culture at house music’s roots. 

And like that they’re gone, just as quickly as they’d arrived.

Four years ago a little single called ‘Hungry For The Power’ dropped on Cosmo Vitelli’s I’m A Cliche label in Paris. With its accompanying video of a psychotic business man, a dominatrix prostitute and some cannibal voguers, the world was introduced to Azari & III. It was as exciting a debut single as has been released since. And then, just under one month ago, via their Facebook page, it was announced that the group would be breaking up after fulfilling their current live engagements. This included a live set at Manchester’s Warehouse Project, a show that would mark the band’s last ever appearance in the UK.

A lot can happen in four years, and in the case of Azari & III, an entire “house music revival” has sprung up, a revival that the band must take some credit for inspiring. Although consumers, DJs and fans of house music would argue – this writer included – that the genre never went away, it’s hard to deny the impact of Azari & III on dance music in general. Through the presence and vocals of front men Starving Yet Full and Fritz Helder, we were reminded of house music’s roots in underground, marginalised, black / gay clubs, and through the production of Dinamo Azari and Alixander III we were reminded that dance music could be sensual and sexy, something that was desperately needed in the era of stadium EDM, aggressive trap-pop and sexless brostep.

Read it all at: 

No Way Back: Niall Connolly salutes Azari & III

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