· Cosmopolitan beat science.
· Sudanese coffee, a cashmere scarf, and a pair of suede Pumas… don't forget the cardamom.
· A vigorous head-nod experience in a plush lounge.
· The beauty of repetition gradually morphing with every loop.
· Aural trilateral symmetry.
Ave.To's Three Way Intersection is a conscious junction of hip-hop, jazz and soul but the name hints at many other interconnections that resonate through the project. The most immediately recognizable confluence is that of the electronic and organic worlds. It is not a new concept, as technology has propelled sampling to a legitimate artform and shaped popular music worldwide. Where Ave.To distinguishes themselves among collectives of a similar aim is in the equity of the exchange. It's not just some jazz musicians riffing over beat loops. Each tune is an integrated experience that tells a narrative. In the live setting, the drum machines, vocalists and instrumentalists of Ave.To converse fluidly.
Three Way Intersection is itself a collection of studies on intersections. The chopped sample tones and keyboard work on "Sand To The Beach" tease the listener to discern which is which, at least until the bass and beat interplay simply compel you to groove. On "Gallery Place" the drums sound like a jazzman locked into a hip-hop pocket while the horn and keys evoke Wayne Shorter and Zoe Zawinul. "Natural" turns drum 'n' bass into meditation. "Abuja" suggests broken beat flirting with afrobeat.
To generate a truly multi-hued sonic palette, producers Oddisee and Unknown and reed specialist Kolai were able to draw from a prolific community of musicians in Washington, DC. A city that is too often stereotyped solely as a destination for political ladder climbers, Washington has it's own cultural and artistic intersections that brought Ave.To's collaborators together. It's a city with northern sophistication and southern soul. It has the creative energy of New York but a smaller scale that doesn't smother the spirit. It's a place with a strong local history that also absorbs migrants from every continent. Oddisee filters a Sudanese heritage through the lens of hip-hop and the ethos of go-go. Kolai, the African raised Frenchman, can draw from classical traditions as well as conjure up Eastern textures from his flute. Unknown's mastery of dissecting breaks further grounds the trio in rhythm and b-boy tradition. Ave.To is indeed world music.
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