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Acid jazz pioneers maintain groove

Instinctive Traveler
Instinctive Traveler
By Dissidenten

Blue Jackel Records: 1997

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This review first appeared in the August 30, 1997 edition of the American Reporter.

Dissidenten was one of the first bands to combine world rhythms with jazz; pioneers of acid jazz, in effect. The German/African/Indian outfit's new album shows they know how to combine a dance groove with funky jazz instrumentals and smooth vocals like few other groups.

Showing a strong Euro influence, Dissidenten's brand of world jazz is less rap-inflected than British or U.S. acid combos. The lyrics, for instance, are more often sung than rapped. And the back beat glides more than hops; you'll still hear the call of the dance floor, but the rhythms are more fluid than, say, with US 3 or the Solsonics.

Given the makeup of Dissidenten, it's pretty amazing the band's sound is cohesive as it is. The members are drawn from Germany, India and the African continent. The instruments range from saxophone and guitar to gimbri, sitar and kanjira.

The result, though, is a distinct sound, one that brings jazz, world beat and rock to its mixture. It's accessible, it's danceable, it's fun.