Aqua Bassino – Beats N Bobs

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Album Review by EDF

AQUA BASSINO aka Jason Robertson might be a bit of an unknown to most people but this album should bring him some overdue recognition. Primarily a bass player, Robertson found a range of session work that took him to places like Ibiza. This led to Robertson becoming influenced with Electronica music, which then saw him producing ambient and soulful deep house. These styles are quite evident on this album and it took two years in the making.

Based in Edinburgh, Robertson played most of the instruments himself and also had a helping hand from a number of artists from the Jazz circuit.

OLA, a fusion of smooth House/Jazz, features Martin Kershaw on saxophone, Nikki King on vocals and the winner of the UK Jazz Singer of the Year award. Complimented with Paco di Agua’s Latin flavoured guitar picking, this has all the hallmarks of a day on a hot sandy beach. The more traditional sounding WELCOME HOME is one of those tracks that is so stripped down to percussion, bass and keyboards, it allows Collin Steele on trumpet to come forward and add his own style which perfectly compliments the track. TIME, co-written with Nikki King also on vocals, is so laid back that you almost take the line “hide away from the stress of the day” to heart. Collin Steele emphasises this as his trumpet solo highlights the solitude that one craves just to sit back and watch time slowly slip by.

While it is not all laid back, the familiar house groove is again evident in the form of MILANO BOSSA, the sort of track that would be featured on a Hed Kandi compilation album. TO HARD, TRY & FIND with Jill Vader on vocals is a disappointing Deep House track with Vadar sounding like she is improvising her way, speaking what’s on her mind and coming out with a few out of place expletives. Another track that seems to miss its mark is BABY C’MON which features a sample of SWEET HOME CHICAGO. The keyboard groove, drum loop and sample are just not enough to save this track from being a victim of the Fast Forward button bandit.

While this mostly instrumental album does its very best to provide a bit of variety, it does seem to lose its way as the more stripped down tracks will fail to capture the listeners attention. Robertson should otherwise be praised for writing, performing and producing the sort of music that most people would not dare attempt to make.

4 stars