A visual feast, Azari & III take to the cavernous stage of The Arches as part of a UK & Europe-wide tour this autumn – Saturday 12th November 11pm-3am. Here, Marcus Jack inspects their sound in expectation of their performance.
Grace Jones meets Justice; Azari & III are a four-piece from Toronto shaking house music to its ancient roots. Composed of producers Christian Farley and Alphonse Lanza (aka Dinamo Azari and Alixander II) and vocalists Fritz Helder and Cedric Gasiada their unique set up provokes a sense of performance and theatre.
Akin to two almost-mechanical electroclash Caesars manipulating their two vocalist marionettes – who reference everything from Prince to Peaches – the group are a response to the mutilated house genre. A brilliant, sultry and decadent debut – the result is intoxicating.
Bangers like ‘Hungry for the Power’ have long circulated under the illusive guise of the indistinguishable ‘dark club tune’ – a victim of overly keen beat-matching and subsequent musical androgyny; on its own this single tears into the memory with sinister lyrics and eerie voodoo thumping – a feat of genius. ‘Manic’ and ‘Reckless (With Your Love)’ show equal aptitude for the unsettling, revelling in synthy goodness and the processed hi-hat.
Of course Azari & III are not immune to the intricate courting of the remixed and the remixer; check out Jamie Jones’ Ridge Street rework of ‘Hungry for the Power’ and Azari & III’s own upgrade of ‘Days’ by Creep – which echoes The XX laid over some superb pulsing electro foundations.
The vocals and aesthetics of Fritz and Cedric transcend expectations of gender – but their glamorous presences are inclusive, not exclusive, they aren’t actively ‘anti-populist’ – the downfall of electroclash acts like Goldfrapp…
Tickets can be purchased for £8 + booking fee in person from The Arches Box Office or can be bought from The Arches website here: http://www.thearches.co.uk/events/clubs/azari-iii