Bohemian Sunrise - In The News

Bohemian Sunrise: intoxicating - self-released 2003
by Bill Whiting - An Honest Tune - Vol. 5 No. 1 Winter 2003-2004

World beats collide with Caribbean rhythms, fluid organic rock, and pop song craft on intoxicating, the bright, promising new release from NJ's Bohemian Sunrise. Recorded in front of a live studio audience at Indre Studios in Philadelphia, PA, and mixed and mastered by Mike Richelle, intoxicating is one of those recordings that worms its way deep inside your soul and never leaves. Truly addicting, the seductive rhythms and melodies that comprise this stellar CD are created by six young gentlemen. What's so impressive about Bohemian Sunrise is their ability to keep such a wide range of contrasting styles compacted into one uniform sound. The sweet calypso strains of "Earth Razor", for instance, mix with a mournful reggae beat and jazz balladry without changing tempo. The ride is so natural, one could mistake this unit as a band of old veterans, whose chops are completely integrated with one another. "Earth Razor" features the daring keyboards and vocals of Jimi Chiara and the sensitive bass playing of Dustin Blackshear. Ed Clark's and Joe Brady's guitars play off each other beautifully, creating gentle melodies that bring to mind sunny beaches and warm sunsets. Dom Clark’s multi-dimensional drumming introduces "Apu the Pimp", a middle-eastern sounding rave up that changes rhythmic directions, and grooves all over in true butt shakin' form. The outrageous percussion of Mike Cunningham figures prominently on Apu. Amazingly, the combination of Cunningham and Dom Clark's furious pounding on Apu resembles the fury of ten tub thumpers all slamming together in a single percussive symphony.

"No Man is an Island" is a smooth-flowing rhythm and blues number, colored by Ed Clark and Joe Brady's inflective rhythm and lead playing. Chiara and Blackshear's vocals mesh together perfectly, bringing the Marivn Gaye-type melody to a seemingly natural progression until the group changes the speed of No Man. Soon, the jazz jams are coming fast and furious through Chiara's sweeping improvisations on synthesizer, and Blackshear's liquid throb on bass. "Sweet Release" is another endearing Afro-Cuban influenced composition, complicated by unsettling shifts in pacing and manipulated musical bridges with avant garde musings. Chiara's keys float above it all, carrying the driving jazz workouts through uncharted territory, while being aided by Brady and E. Clarks searing solos.

Just like Rusted Root did on When I Woke, Bohemian Sunrise begins intoxicating with percussion, this time the polybeats of Mike Cunningham. Then, the group launches into the sizzling, world beat meets Latin dance floor smoker, "Ghost of Many Colours". The warm, breezy feelings of island grooves come to life on the first single, "Fireflies". A heavy, bluesy bottom end anchors the lullaby when Dom Clark's solid backbeat glues itself into Blackshear's light bass accents. The result is a hypnotic trance of rhythm, swaying back and forth under imagined moonlit nights. The essence of concert parking lot scenes and dancing, are embodied in the free, happy sounds of the second single, "JaPong". "Spin around, spin around...until my feet are dancin' on dry ground," [Chiara] intones as Bohemian Sunrise extends the rocking mid-section with Brady and Ed Clark's intertwining solos. With intoxicating, Bohemian Sunrise has created another extension in music's historical lines of percussive-heavy jambands. Whether it's Santana or Rusted Root or Bohemian Sunrise, there will always be a place on this earth for the music of the soul to unite all under the flag of island grooves, raw power of instrumentation, and strong sharing of musical ideas. Intoxicating is just that, and it will leave you smiling all the way to the next show.

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