Akasha
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Akasha

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Band World Reggae

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"Akasha Brings a Taste of Jamaica to the Beat Kitchen"

It’s evident that Akasha is not your regular reggae band. Their reggae tunes mixed with blues and rock definitely kept the crowd alive at Chicago’s Beat Kitchen on a Thursday night. As soon as you walk into Beat Kitchen (2100 W. Belmont Ave.) the atmosphere was noisy to a point where a lady offered me earplugs for my own safety.


Beat Kitchen
Chicago, IL
August 19, 2010



While some decided to stay near the bar, others went through a secret door that led to a room where all the bands were performing. After entering through the door, the layout of the room gave me a flash back of the Movie “Wayne’s World” when Wayne and Garth were in the basement practicing with the band, except this room had pink Christmas lights on the ceiling and a stage full of energetic performers.

Akasha hit the stage and the crowd was hyped. The lead singer Cosmos Ray made you think of Jimmy Hendrix as he rocked the wild hair, a scarf around his head, red shirt and sunglasses. As the band sang “Wake Up” the audience was dancing and having a good time, especially the man dressed in all black that was dancing like he’s in a Sean Paul video.

Everyone joined together to sing the chorus with Ray as he belted out “Wake up for the people, wake up for the people”. Shane Jonas, one of the member’s of Akasha says “Wake Up” is his favorite song on the CD. “The lyrics are really deep,” said Jonas who rocked the trumpet.

As the band performed, “Who Knows Jah?” I felt my feet moving as the guy on the guitar rocked and danced to the groovy reggae beats. The song sounded like reggae with a twist of 60s Rock ‘N’ Roll. The floor was shaking as people let the rhythm and sounds of Akasha move their bodies.

The music felt very relaxing and you could feel a positive energy exploding from their music. As I closed my eyes and let the music into my mind I felt as if I was in Jamaica on an island. It was soothing and transient.

After 45 minutes of Akasha’s music you can’t help but to purchase their CD. Their voices have a nice melody; they give you the feeling of unity and peace. This band rocks and they are definitely different from other reggae bands. “Our harmony and image is different, we go back to the old school, ” said Ray.

Overall, great performance by Akasha. The CD only has five songs but it’s worth paying your $8.00. - Lumino Magazine


"Akasha - How They Move"

Any time I listen to reggae, it’s easy for me to get lost in the rhythms of the drums and guitars, and lend more of my attention to the sound of the music and the feelings it brings instead of what the music and the vocals may or may not be trying to say.

Due to circumstances I found myself in when I first listened to Akasha‘s How They Move, I nearly experienced this same thing.

For the past week, I’ve spent a good amount of my time at the beach. The sun was out. The waves were crashing. And sand, you know, found a way to stick itself all over my body.

With all that going on around me, of course I was left with little choice but to defer to the ways in which I typically read reggae.

But then I paid closer attention to the lyrics in How They Move, and came to realize that Akasha sings about real things, and hard truths. There’s lots of soul — and the same goes for passion — within the five tracks we get here.

I was particularly taken by the first track, “Wake Up.” Actually, the album’s title is embedded within the song’s lyrics.

For me, “Wake Up” is built around the idea of our country’s push to democratize other nations — and its unwillingness to entertain other forms of government. Cosmos says he knows we feel frightened by “how they move with all their stealthy silence.”

He continues:

Do you see their lightning? We’re prisoners of their war. All around the world, my people feel their pain.

He then beckons everybody to “wake up,” to maybe take note in the way America does business. It’s certainly something I’ve heard before — by other musicians even — yet Cosmos’ vocals add extra punch to the idea.

The track that follows it, “One Man Rises,” also carries political weight. This one, however, seems to be about capitalism, and how we’re oftentimes blinded — or as Cosmos belts, “conveniently forgetting” — that “as one man rises, another man falls.”

Yet not everything on How They Move maintains a serious undertone. A few instances, like in “Ooh U Got Me,” Akasha loosens up to sing about — what else? — women. Or better yet, one particularly striking seductress whose got the right smile, style, shake and rock ‘n’ roll.

How They Move is an honest record with what I think to be a lot of meaning. And, thanks to Akasha’s rich reggae sound, it’s made all the more easier to listen to. - Chicago Tunes


"Akasha Brings Vintage Reggae Grooves to the Beat Kitchen 8/19"

Chicago musical outfit, Akasha, will be playing the Beat Kitchen tomorrow, August 19th and celebrating the release of their EP How They Move. The four tracks, which will be available online at CDBaby the same day as their physical debut at the show, encompasses the groove of roots reggae with rich vocal harmonies between the members of the five-piece band. Addressing such issues as social imbalance and calling to “Wake up all the people” in tracks such as “Wake Up” and “One Man Rises” with a serious soulful inflection, the band lightens the mood of this EP with the jaunty “Who Knows Jah?” and beach-y swell of “U Got Me”. Throwing back to the raw grooves of Desmond Dekker and The Wailers, Akasha’s vintage reggae sound will surely please all fans of the genre. - Reviewsic


"Sidewalk Chalk, Mos Scocious, Akasha, Doc’s Delorean, Vertikal @ Beat Kitchen (8/19)"

Akasha, the band releasing a new record, then took the stage.

Immediately, lead vocalist Cosmos Ray commanded the stage like he owned the place. He had such a stage presence about him, fooling with the crowd and putting on a show. Speaking for the band, he countless times thanked us all sincerely for coming out in support of them and the other acts at Beat Kitchen.

Their sound, unlike the bands that came before them, was reggae. And having reviewed their new album in the past week — the link to it appears below — I’m delighted to report back that Akasha is even better live. They’re louder and more enthusiastic. And then there’s Cosmos, who adds a lively touch to their tunes.


The first wave of audience really got into it, too. About midway through, people started relieving themselves of their drinks, purses and whatever else they carried with them by tossing them on or near the stage.

Then it was time to boogie down.

I stole a glance at their set list and noticed that they played 19 songs on Thursday. And unless I missed it, they played everything from the new five-track record, save for “Go Home.” - Chicago Tunes


Discography

Akasha: How They Move (2010)
Akasha: Akasha EP (2007)

All songs available for streaming at:

http://www.akashaband.com/wordpress/?page_id=574

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Bio

Akasha: the best of reggae grooves and rich vocal harmonies. Stylistically, Akasha sounds like they stepped out of a 1972 session at Studio One. Their reggae is powerfully authentic but also is accessible to the contemporary ear. Akasha’s distinct approach is refreshing and earnest. They are courageously trailblazing a path for a new generation to receive the gifts of the Jamaican musical canon. The Akasha sound gives birth to an unmistakable variety of heavy, raw grooves reminiscent of The Skatalites, The Maytals, Desmond Dekker and The Wailers.