Hearing Aid: Mosaic Foundation “Signs Of The Time”

Rochester reggae stalwarts Mosaic Foundation have released their latest album, Signs of The Times and have announced a big CNY show with The Moho Collective on Saturday, March 8th at The Lost Horizon in Syracuse. This will be the first time both bands have appeared at the legendary club and a fantastic opportunity for folks to see these two spectacular Rochester-based bands together. Skip to the end for details, but let’s check out the album first.

Mosaic Foundation has been plying their trade around the Northeast for half a decade, always danceable and infectious, open and joyful, reflective of the vibe and groove of their loosely framed genre.  The disc jumps out of the gate with “We Can Make It If We Try”, a signature sounding anthem, reflective and positive, upbeat and uplifting, as Cha Cha establishes his vocal command and a flat-out infectious groove. “Reggae Escape” stretches the authenticity of Cha Cha’s voice and the band’s message, “This music is used to settle disputes … used to teach the youth their roots … righteous truths brothers.” The variety of pacing used here keeps the listener anticipating the next, whether driven by JP’s drums or Ken’s funky scratches. “My Planet”, then “Helping Hands” express the joy and sorrow of existence balanced against the perspective of survival and giving, the basic inter-connective tissue between everyone.

The title track picks up the theme and puts a bounce under it, letting the positive outweigh the negative, giving it breath to keep up the fight. Allowing space for reflection and vision while following a true path set before them. “Stand Firm” feels like a homage to those who’ve gone before them and a rallying cry to those they stand shoulder to shoulder with. It’s defiant, it’s firm, but the heartfelt joy comes out on top. “Abundance Of Water” is a call to arms of sorts, asking for vision from those living merely in the present. Then “San Kofa” spins forward the guitars and the band feels the up-shift in pacing, and depth of message, intensifying their passion for both.

“Praises” shows the true authenticity of Mosaic Foundation, each member’s musical instinct understands spacing, pacing and breathing. Reggae must be felt, perhaps more than any other genre, there’s a natural motion implied and if it doesn’t move you, it falls flat. There’s none of that here. “Harder The Battle” remains expressive of the struggle and what will overcome it, unity, love, strength, honesty and joy. “Harder the battle, sweeter the victory” indeed. “Jellyfish”, the closer, let’s the boys cut it loose and jam a little, the mix of the keys is deep and layered, evoking layers of feeling like an oceanic trip. The piano is exemplary, the guitar tasty and the rhythm solid, the idea of closing with an instrumental is unique and confident. Very cool stuff, well played and much respect!

Be sure to hit the big upcoming show on March 8th at The Lost Horizon with The Moho Collective! Check out The Moho Collective’s website. Advance tickets are available from Mosaic Foundation members. More details are available on the facebook event page here.

Mosaic Foundation is:

Ken Luk – guitars/ Melodica/ Minimoog/ piano/ vocals
Ekwem Itot Bogmis – piano/ Rhodes/ Hammond Organ/ vocals
Michael Corey – guitars
John-Paul Nawn – drums/ vocals
“Bongo” Brian Davis – percussion
“Cha Cha” Yao Foli Augustine – lead vocals/ percussion
Aaron Sprague – bass
Zach Dumrese – Sound Captain

Guests on this recording:
Angelo Peters – clavinet/ Farfisa and Hammond organ/ guitar
Lee Hamilton – sax
Ryan Zawel – trombone