Hey, how 'bout some funky-lectronic dance'n'trance House music, with a smooth jazz vibe lurking here and there? If so, then 'Kaje' (Kay-Jay) is the way to go, and the going's first-class all the way. The groove is as deep as the ocean and the DVD-A multi-channel recording and mix are pristine, and tastefully and thoughtfully laid out around the listening room. Kaje is the man, himself, and on this excellent self-titled DVD-A, he pretty much does it all, with a bit of female vocal help here and there. He writes, arranges, performs and co-produces (with 3Bone Audio) the entire disc. (He's also done notable remixes for Ginuwine and Ennio Morricone.) This cat has talent to spare, and then some!
Influenced by jazz, reggae and House music, and the likes of New Order and Jamiroquai, Kaje brews up a smooth sound, whether it's chillin' or groovin', that he simply calls E-Funk. Recorded for the 3Bone Audio imprint (out of
), whose motto is "Stereo is dead", the disc hit the streets on August 17th, 2004 and was only recently called to our attention. (Now, about that motto...it might be, ummm...just a bit premature, but super-high-quality hi-resolution surround discs such as this one are sure to hasten its demise.) In fact, this disc already has some fine pedigree behind it. At the 2nd Annual Surround Music Awards, 'Kaje' was nominated for "Most Adventurous Mix" and "The Horizon Award", as
's first independent DVD-Audio release. Friends, with the number of DVD-A discs that have been released within the year previous, that is quite an achievement! This disc easily qualifies as demo-quality. The recording is slick and wet and smooth and sliding, as opposed to dry and in-your-face. Spacious and airy and crystal, crystal clear and clean. The background noise floor (hiss, etc...) is non-existent - dead quiet. All you hear is the music, and the space in between.
The resolution and bit length are not mentioned anywhere that we can find, so we figure it's 48kHz/24 Bit (although the sound is so clean, so pristine, that 96kHz is certainly a possibility). The disc contains DVD-A multi-channel, DD 5.1, and DVD-A stereo layers. The jewel case also includes a second disc recorded in standard PCM CD stereo, so you can listen to it anywhere. Extras include DVD-ROM AAC Audio downloading, three bonus tracks, a discography and a biography. Each song is accompanied by Kaje's own on-screen synopsis and comments on the 5.1 mix of that particular song. Very well-done. In a way, it's rather a "self-review", if you will, song by song, and this writer cribbed a few bits from those comments for this review.
Highlites include: "K.A.J.E.", with its very aggressive use of the surround speakers during the lengthy intro (Kaje says he included this song for no other reason than to make sure people know how to pronounce his name. Now that's marketing!). "Everybody on the Dancefloor" is the first track (remix - feat. Sacha), and is a tasty cross between R&B and Dance. The purpose as the first song, says Kaje, is "to vibe and catch an early groove, and to fully surround the listener right from the start". It works. Absolutely pristine, crystal-clear recording. Lead vocals are anchored up front, with backing vocals sharing the fronts and surrounds. A sweet, deep-bass groove is anchored front-and-center, with nice synth keyboard taps in the surrounds. A nice bell-like synth figure enters the surrounds at approx five minutes in. Smooth and tasty as hell!
"4*3*2*1" uses a vocoder on the lead vocal as it circles the speakers, repeating each number from a different speaker. There's alot of air, room to breathe, in the deadly silent space around the instruments. "Intermission" is very mellow organ/synth sprinkled with chimes and congas and drums. "
7" features some very low bass that pressurizes the listening room, even at moderate levels.
As music, if the self-described E-Funk sounds like your thing, you're gonna love 'Kaje'. If you're the adventurous sort, I highly recommend this as a welcome alternative to alot of what's out there. As a hi-res multi-channel listening experience, it's demo-quality... extremely tasteful, a lot of class, and it shines like the bling, dawg! Can I get a witness?!
Release Date: August 10, 2004
Tracks: 13 - Time: 55:42
Produced by: Kaje
Buy at: 3Bone Audio
Dancefloor / 4*3*2*1 / 5 Minutes of Funk / Intermission I / Space is the Place / Freefallin' / Feel It / K*A*G*E / Intermission II / Nothing's Changing / Columbia 7 / Dirigible / Hey Buddy!.