Rik Mol - trumpet (track 1,2,6,7,8,12,13), flugelhorn (9)
Rogier Schneemann - guitars (all tracks), keyboard (2,10)
Federico Solazzo - keyboards (all tracks), backing vocals (7)
Luciano Poli - electric bass (all tracks except 3), double bass (3,11), backing vocals (7)
David Barker - drums (all tracks), backing vocals (7)
Benjamin Rhodes - vocals (13)
DNA - rap (13)
Alberto 'Forz' Forzan - backing vocals (13)
Cecilia Baesso - backing vocals (7)
Produced by Azure
Executive Producers: Federico Solazzo and Rogier Schneemann
Recorded at: Studio A and Federico's Pannekoek Studio, Den Haag
All tracks recorded live on 11-12 February 2014
Additional recording: 28 February - 26 May, 2014
Recording Engineer: Aaron Gustav Ahrends
Mixed and Mastered by Federico Solazzo at Federico's Pannekoek Studio, Den Haag
Photography: Bram de Brauw, Aaron Ahrends, Allesandro Milani
Cover art: Tram www.tram-zone.com
Graphic design: Luigi Pandolfino
AZURE RELEASES NEW ALBUM 'HIPTRONICS'
(THE HAGUE, July 7th) Hiptronics, the second album of the Dutch-Italian band Azure has been released today. With the concept album, the band presents its musical vision and eclectic sound to the audience.
While their 2009 debut album kicked them into gear with a tour through South-America, raving reviews and a string of festival gigs in The Netherlands, later it seemed like the band lost some of their creative juice. That is, until February 2013.
After a tip-off, guitar player Rogier Schneemann calls keyboard player and producer Federico Solazzo.
"It's like this: the piano player of our band Azure has quit, he went back to Paris. I hear that you have killer keyboard skills. Would you like to play with us sometime?'
'Hmm. Azure, isn't that jazz? I am no longer playing jazz.'
'No listen, it's not really jazz! Lately we've been doing more with grooves, and uh... it's electric and funky and stuff!"
Soon enough a new musical spark is felt. Although the material to be recorded is not yet finished, Federico, Rogier and fellow band members bassist Luciano Poli and drummer David Barker book studio time. Thanks to their newfound creative synergy and the pressure of the nearing deadline they're able to finish each other's pieces at the last moment.
Singer Benjamin Rhodes (USA) and rapper DNA (Surinam) make their contribution. Trumpet hero Rik Mol (Chaka Khan, Basement Jaxx, Candy Dulfer), who has been a frequent collaborator of Azure, completes the band's sound.
The intriguing cover illustration portrays the estranged state in which anybody, after having been through a certain experience, can feel distant from the world and from the life that they were previously part of: a state in which they are not yet able to return to that world and to that life. This is the subject of a circular story of estrangement and homecoming, told through the eclectic and contrast-rich music on Hiptronics. The album comes full circle, with the instrumental opening and vocal closing tracks being muscially the same song. But only in the closing track Ocean's Edge do the lyrics paint the picture of the emotional journey the figure on the cover has made within the span of Hiptronics.
The album consists of 13 tracks covering more than one hour of music and is available worldwide digitally on iTunes and elsewhere as well as physically on CD Baby.