With personality and style, A.Billi Free melds influences from the past, the present, and anticipates what the future of Neo-Soul might look like in her debut album “I Luma”. The album revolves around her sincere musical explorations, deriving a collection of jazz-infused, uplifting and soulful tunes. Combining recording sessions from different studios spread around the U. S, “I Luma” features live instruments, analog synth textures, and body-movin bass grooves. Aside from a partnership with Angel Bat Dawid, the Chicago based production duo Tensei took charge of the sonic aesthetics of the album.
Resembling a scene of an Axel Foley’s movie, slightly reversed in slow motion, “Against the Wall” flashbacks the 80s synth wave era; where catchy vocal lines topped with organic rhythmic patterns paint the canvas of diversion. Along the way, “Movement” pushes you to drift, and lose yourself in the timeless spectrum of the composition. Through “I am that I am, not pretending, little in the south or the west, representing” the tune flows into a tarantinesque atmosphere where muted guitar riffs meet with soothing operatic background melodies.
A splendid tone of sexuality, love, and peace takes center stage in “Bold Heart”, a melting pot of influences, drawing inspiration from artists such as Erykah Badu and Sade. In a world where musicians seem to have forgotten the traditions of the past, Tensei’s conceptual vision craftily encapsulates evergreen musical elements but still escaping from current trends.
“Erosion” takes you back in time, when the pure artistic expression was a common endeavor, and the gift of musical creativity had paramount importance. Although, it lacks variety and a sense of fluidity “I Luma” stands strong as a debut album and leaves you with positive expectations, craving for the follow-up.