Urbanismz, the full-length album by Chicago duo Forbidden Knowledge (Nino Arobelidze and Pablo Gordy) is a groove filled dance around take on Funk, Jazz, Soul, Rock and Hip-Hop, among other genres. Upon first listen, the opening track made me curious as to where it was going with its straightforward drum beat and bass line. The piano hook layered with the sound of an LP being played lent well to Arobelidze’s speaking/rapping vocal. When “Above Ground” went seamlessly into “Paris At Sundown”, I was curved in to listen to the rest of the record.
The album itself is a testament as to what two talented solo artists can achieve if equally and selflessly collaborating for the sake of making great music. Arobelidze handled most of the vocals on Urbanismz while Gordy lent his ability to play multiple instruments and layer backing vocals to most of the tracks. The production quality of this album was what I found astonishing, considering this was a self-made project from start to finish, and there were no other musicians or outside producers used other than Arobelidze and Gordy. The Ni Fu Ni Fa Records people left these two alone in the studio and just stayed out of their way.
The merging of the first two tracks becomes a theme of sorts for those listening to Urbanismz, with “Thunder” going into “Rain”, “The Love Zone” into “Wonderful” and “Your Eyes Don’t Lie” into “Midnight”. Arobelidze’s undeniable Jazz influenced vocals work well with her rapping. “Craving” contains a rap section in Georgian, further exemplifying the diversity Forbidden Knowledge as a group possesses and puts forth. The Gordy-led vocal on “The Love Zone” is a working contrast/compliment to Arobelidze’s Soul influenced work on “Wonderful”, with the latter seeming to brilliantly dispel the former in subject matter.
By the time I got to the Bluesy Jazz of “Midnight”, I wanted to hear this album again. The journey this record takes seems to have something for most everyone. If you like R&B, Soul, Funk, Jazz, Rock, Rap, Blues, then there’s something here for you. At the same time, the work as a whole does not try to sway and does not bargain from what it is. If that is what Arobelidze and Gordy set out to do with their audience for this record, they succeeded beyond measure. - Paul Richards
Produced, performed, arranged and composed by Forbidden Knowledge (Nino Arobelidze and Pablo Gordy). Recorded, mixed and mastered by The Laughing Man at Laughing Man Studios in Chicago, IL for Ni Fu Ni Fa Records.
Copyright 2012 Ni Fu Ni Fa Records, Nino Arobelidze and Pablo Gordy
Published 2012 Ni Fu Ni Fa Records, Nino Arobelidze (BMI), Pablo Gordy (ASCAP), Laughing Music (ASCAP)
Forbidden Knowledge is a trademark of Ni Fu Ni Fa Records. All public performance, reproduction and rebroadcast without the expressed written consent of Ni Fu Ni Fa Records, Nino Arobelidze and Pablo Gordy is strictly prohibited.