U.A.E-base singer/songwriter Hamdan Al Abri (A.K.A Abri) has had a storied career to say the least, having previously performed alongside such legends as Erykah Badu, Sade, Herbie Hancock, Kanye West and Sting, to name a few. An accomplished performer both in his solo career, and in collaborative projects, Abri continues to impress world audiences with his silky vocals and deeply funk-infused albums, which lie in a sublime intersection of electronic soul and disco.
This latest EP sees Abri reconvene with The Dreamfleet, an impressive production duo comprised of Australian producer/DJ — and co-founder of Voyeurhythm Records — Mostyn Rischmueller (a.k.a Megadon Betamax), and Greek/Uruguayan multi-instrumentalist Adriano Konialidis, founder of Desmo Records and Hydra World Music Festival. As their second collaborative project, Pieces follows up Abri and The Dreamfleet’s 2017 debut album We Fly, continuing the album’s deeply introspective story, “lost somewhere between the sand and the sea”.
The opening track, Pieces sets the tone that will carry on throughout the record; clean drums, airtight percussion, silk-smooth synthesizer harmonies, groove-soaked bass riffs and infectiously catchy lead melodies. Instrumentally speaking, the entire project comes through with the level of cohesion expected from musicians of Abri & The Dreamfleet’s calibre, and there is hardly a single sound, one-shot, or vocal hook that feels out of place.
Speaking of vocals, Abri’s impressive range is given proper room to shine across Pieces. From smooth crooning to heart wrenching falsettos, Abri’s control is impeccable, indicative of an artist who truly knows how to use their voice as the most versatile of instruments. It may seem like a hard sell to say that every track on Pieces has the making of a chart-topping summer hit, but listening through the 4-track album there is hardly a single chorus that doesn't beg to be sung along to.
A particular highlight of the record is the closing track ‘Midnight Drive,’ which see’s Abri and The Dreamfleet’s disco inclinations finally hit their moment of catharsis. Addressing a past lover in an attempt to patch things up, Abri really lets go of all his vocal inhibitions, singing directly from the soul in an attempt to rekindle a once dying flame. Who could refuse such a beautifully phrased apology?
Follow Abri & The Dreamfleet on Soundcloud and Bandcamp