Independent release, 2013

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


There are albums that are great. But then there are albums that are so exciting that you can’t stop talking about them: Deviations by Toronto-based duo Aurganic is just this type of release. There couldn’t be a more elegant way of marrying jazz and indie rock than how Michael Kossov and Leo Pisaq have done on this sophomore release. The jazz aspect in the musical fabric of this record is key to the way it sounds. The music has an almost easy listening, smooth jazz appeal. Because of the potential prosaicness of this type of music, it might seem like a dangerous territory to tread on, but rest assured that my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Deviations sounds nothing like elevator music. The brilliant music that this duo creates out of this particular type of jazz influence is no different from how Meshell Ndegeocello, Sting, or Tears For Fears use or have used to create memorable albums.

Both Kossov and Pisaq come from punk or rock backgrounds; in Kossov’s case, he is still the bassist for Toronto-based post-rock outfit Here Below. But on Deviations, they sound like professionally trained jazz musicians. Especially on the title track – the only instrumental on the album – the music has such an air of sophistication and eruditeness that it is hard to believe it has been composed by two guys with just plain rock music backgrounds. Same goes with “Easy” and “The Lost And The Found” with their easygoing loungey mood, as if they came out of the womb of a hardcore jazz record.

But this duo’s indie rock identity runs as strong in the veins of Deviations as its disposition towards jazz. On “Paradigm,” “Single Motion Sound,” and “Southbound,” Aurganic flexes their rock music muscle, incorporating elements of math rock. “Lucid” and “Walking Trials” show the more electronic side of this duo. The dreamy “Lucid” sounds like a song coming out the current crop of synth-based shoegazer-influenced indie pop bands. “Walking Trials” on the other hand, is angular and unconventional; the electronic music influence on this track is closer to the likes of Radiohead.

There is no question that Aurganic breaks new ground with Deviations. And on top of that, the gracefulness and utter prissiness with which they are able to do so is pretty remarkable, to say the least.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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