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Exploring Sensory Blending: Inside Aura Safari & Jimi Tenor’s Musical Masterpiece.

Kono Vidovic May 5, 2024 149 5 5


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Marco Gallerani’s Hell Yeah Recordings this week release an album that is so good… it will stop you in your tracks. The golden eared A&R man pulls a stroke of genius, combining Finland’s finest and huge creative talent, Jim Tenor, to get in the studio with one of the best things to come out of Italy the last few years, 8 piece band Aura Safari. Sensory Blending is the result of a chance meeting and an impromptu studio session in Perugia. Tenor was playing at Tangram, and the full Aura Safari line-up are all local, so it seemed only fitting that they should get together and jam. Considering they hadn’t ever met before, the result are simply stunning.

AURA SAFARI.

“Recording this album with Jimi Tenor was a surprise from start to finish. When we arrived at the studio, we had no idea what we would be playing. In fact the initial plan was to record two or three songs. During the session, we didn’t even realize we were recording an entire album.”

“At the beginning of each track, Jimi would give us some direction, and we’ll never forget when he said, “Let’s make one for the ladies, guys.” Most of the songs were recorded in one take without a metronome, capturing a naturalness often lacking in modern music.”

“A funny episode we’d like to share was when Jimi, upon relistening to the recordings, felt that something was missing from the song “Gimlet” compared to how he remembered it. This “something” turned out to be a percussion element that our drummer Nicola’s father was playing in the studio with us during the recording session but wasn’t actually recorded. Jimi was so convinced of those percussion sounds that a few weeks later, we organized a small session just to have his father record his part with the Cuíca.”

Body Synesthesia.

This track is the first on the album and also the first one we recorded. The take we kept is the second one (in the first one Nicola played a lot more drums). Jimi added the vocals a few weeks later, and it was a huge surprise for all of us. The song has a mood reminiscent of Roy Ayers, whom we greatly admire.

Lunar Wind.

What I remember about this song is that I kept thinking, “I need to change the groove,” and indeed, at the three-minute mark, it changes completely (Nicola).

It was originally an instrumental piece with Jimi Tenor on the sax. A few weeks later, Jimi sent us the vocals, along with some flute parts, and it was pure magic. It’s a very warm and sensual tune.

Bewitched by the Sea.

This is the only track on the album that we didn’t create together. Jimi took a drum loop we had recorded that afternoon and crafted this masterpiece. It has a touch of Brasilia and modern MBP, a style we love.

My Bluebell.

Knowing that Jimi had collaborated with the legendary Tony Allen, we thought, “Let’s do some Afrobeat but with our twist.” We’re thrilled that it has become one of the standout tracks on the album. This song also started as an instrumental, but then Jimi brought in Toimi Tytti for vocals, and she delivered an incredible performance, blending spiritual jazz with extreme originality. The first part is more jazz-oriented and soft, gradually becoming darker with stabs that evoke the 90s house music style of Chez Damier and Ron Trent. We love how this song combines those house music influences that inspire us so much.

Lastwaltz in Perugia.

This was the last song of the session, and interestingly, Nicola suggested an unusual 3/4 groove, which was well-received. Of all the songs, this one probably underwent the most changes during the editing process. We removed many parts and instruments, stripping it down to its essential elements, creating an intro with just the sax, and adding pauses and breakdowns.

Gimlet.

We can’t help but smile whenever I think about Nicola’s father and this song. Our idea here was to create a song with strong Latin influences and a heavy focus on percussion. The groove varies a lot, with some chill moments and others filled with loud percussion. In post-production, we had fun experimenting with effects and delays, aiming to give as much space as possible to the percussion section.

It’s Too Easy to Love You.

This was definitely one of the most enjoyable songs to play, and if I recall correctly, it was recorded in one take! (Nicola)

Your Magic Touch.

This is one of our favorite track on the album. We love how the drums sound in the production, and a big shoutout to Urban Studio for capturing some of the best drum sounds ever! Our intention with this song was to create something with a distinct 80s vibe, especially in the keyboard sounds and the straighter groove compared to the other tracks. Jimi nailed it with a catchy flute melody that sticks in your head.

Indigo.

To be honest, we don’t have many memories of this song. But relistening to it now, it takes us to a faraway place we’ve never been to but somehow feel familiar.

A few last words.

Thank you for tuning in to our deep dive into “Sensory Blending.” A huge shoutout to Aura Safari and Jimi Tenor for crafting such a unique sonic experience. If you loved the vibes and stories we shared today, don’t forget to check out their new release, available now. Support the artists, and let the magic of their music transform your everyday moments!


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Kono Vidovic at Dirty Disco
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Kono Vidovic

DJ | MUSIC CURATOR & SELECTOR | PODCAST MAKER | BLOGGER Professional online interpreneur. Coffee practitioner. Electronic music culture maven. Total music guru. Infuriatingly humble problem solver. Food & sports fanatic.

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