Afrokeys is Erick Anderson. A composer, producer, keyboardist, and a former member of the alternative Hiphop band, Atmosphere from Minneapolis. The album,“The Jovian Nomad,” was created while Erick was on tour with Atmosphere between April and December of 2011. The tracks are essentially his diary entries of the events, feelings, and experiences of that period.
I doubt there is any category the music of Erick Anderson can fit, without bursting through the seams. “The Jovian Nomad,” evokes powerful images and can best be appreciated, lounging back with your eyes shut.
Many of the tracks sport an almost movie theme quality but devoid of being pretentious or slipping into the elevator music category. This is definitely a project worth keeping for many listens to come. The album is rich in deep-seated rhythms and synthesized orchestrations, without ever sounding cold, contrived or even on the contrary, extravagantly over indulgent. A familiar scheme many keyboard wizards fall into.
As if to prove the point, Erick has given space to some tasteful guitar sounds on “Post Berlin” and “Minneapolis” where Davis Bain takes care of the six-string work. While on “Shots Fired,” Budo and Nate Collis share the honors of delivering fiery hooks and riffs.
Throughout the 12 twelve tracks (many of which are for free download), The music is present, up front and very easily listened to, over and over again. An example of this, is one of my absolute favorites, “Minneapolis” a rhythm-driven anthem, with a funky running bass-line that will have your head poppin’ all over the place.
“Waiting,” on the other hand, is an exquisitely ethereal arrangement, embracing a mesmerizing vocoder-like vocal interlude that sent shivers down my spine. However, this track had me desperately cursing Erick Anderson at the top of my voice. “How dare he cut this modern day masterpiece down to only 1 minute and 59 seconds?” I asked myself. That’s really unfair Erick. You entice me, tease me…and then leave me audibly stranded, in a room full of silence in just under two minutes!
On “The Jovian Nomad,” Erick Anderson has opted for a creative but conventional, rhythmic sound, cutting out unnecessary fringes…and just nails it. Every track resonates with a remarkable brightness and energy. Crank up the sound and listen to the magnificent “Minneapolis,” and you’ll quickly appreciate what I mean.
This album is a rich tapestry from beginning to end. Evoking images and sensations, whether from real or imaginary places and events around the globe.