REVIEW: Urban Killas’ “Down On Earth”

Urban Killas photo UrbanKillas_cover_zpsgahipph7.jpg With a name spelled like Urban Killas, some people may immediately assume they are hip-hop related but knowing this album was released on Aut Records, I knew it couldn’t be. Aut is generally jazz, but not just typical/ordinary jazz so I opened it up to find out what’s going on. Urban Killas could be considered jazz fusion, but that would be a loose interpretation of what this group can do. The musicians are Italian (Yuri Argentino (tenor/baritone sax); Andrea Vedovato (guitar); Riccardo Di Vinci (bass/doublebass); Simone Sferruzza – (drums)) but their music is other-worldly, their land of origin could not easily be detected based on what and how they sound. They create noise textures that could easily make them from New York City, Chicago, or Detroit or perhaps hanging out in some Medeski, Martin & Wood village circa The Dropper, or maybe in some German village or a Spanish village deep where the musicianship echoes in the valleys. It almost sounds like these guys are individually on their own track but without them bouncing off vibes and hints from one another, it wouldn’t sound as united as it really is. Things are chaotic and frantic in songs like “Icecream”, “Gas Panic”, and the opening track “Voices” and even when it feels like things are at a calm level, it’s anything but. If they are killers on urban upbringing or wanting to change what living in urban circumstances is defined as, Urban Killas are definitely going to spawn some sense of dialogue between one another, even if it means bringing in another horned instrument, killing it, then bringing it back to life.