For its long-awaited debut, Germany's Trüby Trio takes on the concept of transforming "elevator music" into something listenable. World-renowned DJ Rainer Trüby and multi-instrumentalists Roland Appel and Christian Prommer have made an album much closer to audio architecture than Muzak could ever hope for. It is vibrant and flavorful, packed with an array of genres and sounds yet ultimately digestible by a wide range of audiences.
"A Go Go," the trio's 1998 signature club hit, which appears here, ushered in an international wave of artists releasing dance-floor songs inspired by the bombastic beats and swing of Brazilian music. The Trio took its time putting together Elevator Music, which competently tackles a more world-wise blend of sounds, from fiery flamenco (the intense "Jaleo," sung by Spanish vocalist Concha Buika) to funk and soul (the saucy and spacey bounce of "Satisfaction" and the sex-you-down vibes of "Lover Uncovered," respectively).
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The album's boldest highlight appears right in the middle of the set with "Make a Move," a collaboration with Nigerian-born and New York-based singer Wunmi. Borrowing the Afrobeat style pioneered by Wunmi's countrymen Fela Kuti and Fela's son Femi, the song rides some big horns and even bigger tribal drums into a sweat-inducing jam. Unfortunately, it's unlikely that Muzak will loosen its stranglehold on elevators, grocery stores, and shopping malls anytime soon, but at least Trüby Trio offers a fertile, imaginative getaway to dream about the possibilities.