Atomga
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Atomga

Denver, Colorado, United States | SELF

Denver, Colorado, United States | SELF
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No matter what they’re playing, this band has power. We’re talking about the power of four percussionists, two guitars, a bass, five horns, a keyboard and two lady singers/dancers. That’s 15 people on one stage working to instill one massive groove right where it matters. The live element is crucial, perfectly illustrated in a recent statement from Kuti: “Afrobeat has to go from stage to studio, not studio to stage,” he says. “I don’t believe in going into the studio to write songs. You create music in the world, outside, in the environment. You create music with nature, not in the studio. You go to the studio to record, that’s it. Music created in the studio is commercial music, music that only wants to sell, that has nothing to do with the world.” It’d be hard to find a single person in attendance that disagreed.

With 10 young men and a girl playing a baritone sax that was almost as big as she was, Denver-based Atomga brought a beefy Afrobeat sound that shook the foundation of the venue. Some of the vocal segments seemed perhaps more suited to an R&B band, but at least they were sparse amongst all the polished instrumentation.

Follow our news and updates on Twitter, our whereabouts on Foursquare and our relationship status on Facebook. Or send us a telegram.

Cal Huss is a new contributor to Reverb.

Joshua Elioseff is a Boulder based photographer of everything, a self-professed music junkie and regular contributor to Reverb. Check his photos out on Facebook or his website.
- Hey Reverb


No matter what they’re playing, this band has power. We’re talking about the power of four percussionists, two guitars, a bass, five horns, a keyboard and two lady singers/dancers. That’s 15 people on one stage working to instill one massive groove right where it matters. The live element is crucial, perfectly illustrated in a recent statement from Kuti: “Afrobeat has to go from stage to studio, not studio to stage,” he says. “I don’t believe in going into the studio to write songs. You create music in the world, outside, in the environment. You create music with nature, not in the studio. You go to the studio to record, that’s it. Music created in the studio is commercial music, music that only wants to sell, that has nothing to do with the world.” It’d be hard to find a single person in attendance that disagreed.

With 10 young men and a girl playing a baritone sax that was almost as big as she was, Denver-based Atomga brought a beefy Afrobeat sound that shook the foundation of the venue. Some of the vocal segments seemed perhaps more suited to an R&B band, but at least they were sparse amongst all the polished instrumentation.

Follow our news and updates on Twitter, our whereabouts on Foursquare and our relationship status on Facebook. Or send us a telegram.

Cal Huss is a new contributor to Reverb.

Joshua Elioseff is a Boulder based photographer of everything, a self-professed music junkie and regular contributor to Reverb. Check his photos out on Facebook or his website.
- Hey Reverb


No matter what they’re playing, this band has power. We’re talking about the power of four percussionists, two guitars, a bass, five horns, a keyboard and two lady singers/dancers. That’s 15 people on one stage working to instill one massive groove right where it matters. The live element is crucial, perfectly illustrated in a recent statement from Kuti: “Afrobeat has to go from stage to studio, not studio to stage,” he says. “I don’t believe in going into the studio to write songs. You create music in the world, outside, in the environment. You create music with nature, not in the studio. You go to the studio to record, that’s it. Music created in the studio is commercial music, music that only wants to sell, that has nothing to do with the world.” It’d be hard to find a single person in attendance that disagreed.

With 10 young men and a girl playing a baritone sax that was almost as big as she was, Denver-based Atomga brought a beefy Afrobeat sound that shook the foundation of the venue. Some of the vocal segments seemed perhaps more suited to an R&B band, but at least they were sparse amongst all the polished instrumentation.

Follow our news and updates on Twitter, our whereabouts on Foursquare and our relationship status on Facebook. Or send us a telegram.

Cal Huss is a new contributor to Reverb.

Joshua Elioseff is a Boulder based photographer of everything, a self-professed music junkie and regular contributor to Reverb. Check his photos out on Facebook or his website.
- Hey Reverb


The Scene: Cervantes’ Other Side was THE funky place to be on Saturday night as Denver’s funkiest party people packed into the room and danced till 2 in the morning. Our crew was celebrating the birthday of a dear friend in style and we descended on the room decked out as Pimps & Ho’s in tribute to the headliner and to Christine’s love for costume parties. We got our fair share of funny looks, but many in the crowd felt it pushed the vibe in the room up a notch as we shook and boogied our way through the crowd all night long.

Opener: Atomga Groove Alliance. I caught these guys once before when they opened for See-I next door in Cervantes’ Ballroom and while I was impressed then, I was blown away on Saturday. They took the stage at about 10 and proceed to whip the crowd into a frenzy that didn’t let up for more than an hour. A twelve piece band with a full horn section, Atomga Groove Alliance is bringing Afro-Beat to Denver and they are doing it right. Their set was packed wall to wall with slammin’ dance numbers as they seamlessly mixed original tunes with Fela Kuti and other Afro-Beat classics. Watch out Denver, cause your newest party band is just getting warmed up. These guys are poised to take this town by storm!

The Pimps Of Joytime: When The Pimps Of Joytime were introduced at just about 11:30, the crowd went nuts. It was clear that expectations were high, and the band delivered with a two set performance that was heavy on the funk and cranked the temperature in the room up a few notches.

The bands mastermind and frontman, Brian J, stood front and center for the duration of the show looking every bit the part in a light colored blazer, Fedora, and shades. Heavy organ lines, wah-wah, a rock solid rhythm section, and J’s signature falsetto dominated the sound as the band took us on a journey that made stops in the Deep South, New Orleans, the Islands, and Latin America.

While the first set included raw, high energy takes on “San Francisco Bound,” “My Gold,” and “Bonita” from the groups debut album High Steppin’, one of the highlights of the night came when bassist Dave Bailis busted out a phenomenal bass solo on another High Steppin’ gem “Joytime Radio.”

Given that J is really the only true, full time, Pimp Of Joytime, it’s tempting to think of these guys as a studio band from time to time. While their studio material is fantastic, they proved on Saturday night that their live show is one of the funkiest around. After an early morning setbreak, the band returned and turned the funk-o-meter up to 11 with a couple of tracks from their most recent Janxta Funk !, “Keep That Music Playin’” and the irresistible title cut. The crowd showed no signs of slowing down as they held their drinks high and swiveled their hips as the Pimps blended old school with new and even seemed to channel Brazilian Synthesizer legend Eumir Deodato at one point.

It was the kind of show that makes you want to jump on tour with a band, the kind of show that wins over legions of fans, and hopefully the kind of show that gets a band invited back to a venue real, real soon. If you haven’t gotten out to get funky with The Pimps Of Joytime, do it, and do it soon!

Energy: A
Sound: A
Musicianship: A-
Stage Presence: A
Set/Light show: A

Overall: A - Listen Up Denver


Denver, Colorado – This past Friday I had the extreme pleasure of seeing SEE-I featuring members of Thievery Corporation at Cervantes in Denver and let me say that they did not disappoint in any way. By the end of the show my face had been severely melted by the heavy guitar shredding, grooving bass riffs, stellar saxophone solos, electrified keys, and thundering percussion and drum beats. Oh and I forgot to mention the two front men, the core of SEE-I, who brought to center stage a very entertaining and varied show through their diverse range of style. They played throwback reggae tunes to heavy rock and funk jams. Some covers were thrown in for fun ranging from the Toots & The Maytals to the Steve Miller Band.

The show started properly with a great opening band called Atomga Groove Alliance. This band was larger than SEE-I and equally as diverse. They boasted multiple horns, a male and female singer, keys, bass, guitar, percussionists and finally a drummer. I wasn’t exaggerating their size. However, they managed their sound through their talent and had the early arrivers dancing and grooving, hyping them for SEE-I. By the end of their set the crowd cheered them for an encore which was delivered in a three song, twenty-to-thirty minute set. After their performance a DJ took over and kept the crowd dancing until SEE-I began dominating the stage. The opening band was extremely impressive and awesome and still somehow SEE-I cranked it up a notch and delivered as a headliner should.

In the end, see SEE-I if you are given the chance, or Atomga Groove Alliance, or Thievery Corporation. I’m willing to bet you will highly enjoy yourself. Also, check out Cervantes if given the chance, it is a worthy venue big enough to let you chill or rage while still being in sight distance of the band. - Mountain Weekly News


Denver, Colorado – This past Friday I had the extreme pleasure of seeing SEE-I featuring members of Thievery Corporation at Cervantes in Denver and let me say that they did not disappoint in any way. By the end of the show my face had been severely melted by the heavy guitar shredding, grooving bass riffs, stellar saxophone solos, electrified keys, and thundering percussion and drum beats. Oh and I forgot to mention the two front men, the core of SEE-I, who brought to center stage a very entertaining and varied show through their diverse range of style. They played throwback reggae tunes to heavy rock and funk jams. Some covers were thrown in for fun ranging from the Toots & The Maytals to the Steve Miller Band.

The show started properly with a great opening band called Atomga Groove Alliance. This band was larger than SEE-I and equally as diverse. They boasted multiple horns, a male and female singer, keys, bass, guitar, percussionists and finally a drummer. I wasn’t exaggerating their size. However, they managed their sound through their talent and had the early arrivers dancing and grooving, hyping them for SEE-I. By the end of their set the crowd cheered them for an encore which was delivered in a three song, twenty-to-thirty minute set. After their performance a DJ took over and kept the crowd dancing until SEE-I began dominating the stage. The opening band was extremely impressive and awesome and still somehow SEE-I cranked it up a notch and delivered as a headliner should.

In the end, see SEE-I if you are given the chance, or Atomga Groove Alliance, or Thievery Corporation. I’m willing to bet you will highly enjoy yourself. Also, check out Cervantes if given the chance, it is a worthy venue big enough to let you chill or rage while still being in sight distance of the band. - Mountain Weekly News


The Scene: Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, formerly the Casino Cabaret, lies in the middle of Denver’s Five Point Neighborhood, where the thriving music scene in this town was born. Cervantes’ has a long history and on Friday night the room that once hosted the great James Brown was again filled with strains of Funk and Soul. The only difference was that this time those classic sounds were blended with Reggae and Dancehall as See-I brought their signature sound back to Denver. Having one of Denver’s best bar staffs, the drinks flowed with a laid back ease as the room filled comfortably and soon found folks from all walks of life grooving and rubbing elbows.

The Opener: Atomoga Groove Alliance. Denver based twelve piece Atomga Groove Alliance opened up the evening with a surprisingly fresh and energetic set of music. With a four member horn section and three percussionists, the band took the audience on a musical journey that blended Afro-Beat with Jazz and Funk. Throw in a keys player, a couple guitarists, and the melodic male and female vocal duo of Devon Jones and Laura Marques, and you have not only a very talented band, but a full stage. For an hour or so Atomga Groove Alliance got the crowd warmed up, and dare I say ready to boogie. We look forward to hearing more from these guys in the future!

See-I: Shortly after 11 the See-I band took the stage and lurked in the shadows as they jammed a bit to warm up. Then, with great pomp and fanfare, Frank Mitchell Jr. introduced the bands vocalists, brothers Arthur “Rootz” Steele and Archie “Zeebo” Steele and they bounded in the light adorned in pith helmets and Aviator glasses. Mitchell, aka the Sax Pusher, began to blow his horn to kick off “Thunder Dawn” and we were off on a wild ride. Guitarist Rob Myers and barefooted bassist Ashish “Hash” Vyas filled the room with high energy rhythms and a deep full bass sound while Enea Diotaiuti provided melodies on the keys and Empresarios band mates Javier Miranda and Jeff Franca laid down the grooves on percussion. “The real See-I sound” blends Roots and Dancehall music with Funk, Dub, and Rock to create a unique brand of Reggae that is pleasing crowds from coast to coast.

The Denver crowd was treated to a mixture of songs off the bands self titled debut album like “Haterz 24/7? and “Soul Hit Man,” and See-I classics like “The King” which blended into “Dangerous” but not before quoting from Chuck Brown’s “Bustin’ Loose,” and P-Funk’s “We Want The Funk” to the delight of everyone in the room. Like a seasoned DJ, the band kept newcomers sucked in as they wove well known tunes like “Fly Like An Eagle,” “Louie Louie,” and “Leaving On A Jet Plane” into the their originals. Though many of these covers appeared in the set last time the band graced the stage at Cervantes’, I think it’s safe to say that no really noticed or cared. It was full-on party time and dancing was the number one priority!

In case you are new on this scene, See-I’s members are culled from DC area groups like Thievery Corporation, Nappy Riddem, Fort Knox Five and the aforementioned Empresarios and they all brought unique talent and musical diversity to the night’s marathon performance. As the clock struck 2, members of the crowd joined the band on stage for the final song to dance to the bangin’ See-I party anthem “Homegrown.” Longtime See-I fans and newcomers alike witnessed a show that none of us will soon forget. - Listen Up Denver


The Scene: Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, formerly the Casino Cabaret, lies in the middle of Denver’s Five Point Neighborhood, where the thriving music scene in this town was born. Cervantes’ has a long history and on Friday night the room that once hosted the great James Brown was again filled with strains of Funk and Soul. The only difference was that this time those classic sounds were blended with Reggae and Dancehall as See-I brought their signature sound back to Denver. Having one of Denver’s best bar staffs, the drinks flowed with a laid back ease as the room filled comfortably and soon found folks from all walks of life grooving and rubbing elbows.

The Opener: Atomoga Groove Alliance. Denver based twelve piece Atomga Groove Alliance opened up the evening with a surprisingly fresh and energetic set of music. With a four member horn section and three percussionists, the band took the audience on a musical journey that blended Afro-Beat with Jazz and Funk. Throw in a keys player, a couple guitarists, and the melodic male and female vocal duo of Devon Jones and Laura Marques, and you have not only a very talented band, but a full stage. For an hour or so Atomga Groove Alliance got the crowd warmed up, and dare I say ready to boogie. We look forward to hearing more from these guys in the future!

See-I: Shortly after 11 the See-I band took the stage and lurked in the shadows as they jammed a bit to warm up. Then, with great pomp and fanfare, Frank Mitchell Jr. introduced the bands vocalists, brothers Arthur “Rootz” Steele and Archie “Zeebo” Steele and they bounded in the light adorned in pith helmets and Aviator glasses. Mitchell, aka the Sax Pusher, began to blow his horn to kick off “Thunder Dawn” and we were off on a wild ride. Guitarist Rob Myers and barefooted bassist Ashish “Hash” Vyas filled the room with high energy rhythms and a deep full bass sound while Enea Diotaiuti provided melodies on the keys and Empresarios band mates Javier Miranda and Jeff Franca laid down the grooves on percussion. “The real See-I sound” blends Roots and Dancehall music with Funk, Dub, and Rock to create a unique brand of Reggae that is pleasing crowds from coast to coast.

The Denver crowd was treated to a mixture of songs off the bands self titled debut album like “Haterz 24/7? and “Soul Hit Man,” and See-I classics like “The King” which blended into “Dangerous” but not before quoting from Chuck Brown’s “Bustin’ Loose,” and P-Funk’s “We Want The Funk” to the delight of everyone in the room. Like a seasoned DJ, the band kept newcomers sucked in as they wove well known tunes like “Fly Like An Eagle,” “Louie Louie,” and “Leaving On A Jet Plane” into the their originals. Though many of these covers appeared in the set last time the band graced the stage at Cervantes’, I think it’s safe to say that no really noticed or cared. It was full-on party time and dancing was the number one priority!

In case you are new on this scene, See-I’s members are culled from DC area groups like Thievery Corporation, Nappy Riddem, Fort Knox Five and the aforementioned Empresarios and they all brought unique talent and musical diversity to the night’s marathon performance. As the clock struck 2, members of the crowd joined the band on stage for the final song to dance to the bangin’ See-I party anthem “Homegrown.” Longtime See-I fans and newcomers alike witnessed a show that none of us will soon forget. - Listen Up Denver


Picture the Cervantes stage lit up with a twelve-piece band playing a mixture of Afro-beat and Latin-funk. Throw in some jazzy instrumental breaks from the four piece horn section, syncopated Afro-Latin rhythms from the percussion section and you have quite a delightful dancing snack better known as Denver’s own Atomga Groove Alliance. The instrumental sections brilliantly showcased various musical influences while Devon Jones and Laura Marques provided soulful, melodic vocals to complete the ensemble.

As a lover of the Portuguese language, I was thrilled to hear undertones of Brazilian rhythms combined with background harmonies reminiscent of the infamous song, “Mais Que Nada.” I could not hide my excitement when the band covered a personal favorite of mine, “Boa Sorte” (Good Luck) by Vanessa Da Mata and Ben Harper. I thoroughly enjoyed the Atomga original song called “The Cure” which featured both of the talented lead vocalists, while adding in jam-band elements to Latin rhythms. By the time Atomga Groove Alliance finished their set, the mixed Cervantes crowd was amply warmed up and ready for some more dancing beats from SEE-I.

SEE-I is an eight piece reggae-soul band hailing from Washington, D.C. If you recognize some of the guys in the band, it’s because SEE- I features six members from Thievery Corporation. The two front men of SEE-I, easily recognizable by their get-up comprised of brimmed hats, military jackets and aviators, are brothers Arthur “Rootz” Steele and Archie “Zeebo” Steele. The pair began singing together around the age of five under the direction of their mother in their church’s children’s choir. The energy that the siblings brought to the stage is one that could have only been naturally groomed over years of performing together.

Each band member brought a unique talent and flavor to the stage that successfully drew me in throughout the performance. For instance, I was fascinated by bassist Ashish “Hash” Vyas, creator of SEE-I’s heavy bass lines that are essential to a complete reggae sound. He had this hypnotic presence on stage as he moved around barefoot, groovin’ to the music with his eyes closed. As the night progressed, I realized that the SEE-I sound would be incomplete without the incredibly talented and sharply dressed sax player Frank Mitchell Jr. His impressive musical background of soul, jazz, r&b and blues is undoubtedly an essential element of the SEE-I package.

The crowd enjoyed songs from SEE-I’s self-titled debut album such as “Soul Hit Man” and the laid back groove “Dangerous” featuring smooth vocals from Rootz. Just as I began wondering if I would hear any Thievery songs, Zeebo pulled out “3845” (A Thievery Number), one of first songs they recorded with Thievery Corporation.

In a post-show pow-wow with SEE-I, several members shared their admiration for Colorado as a beautiful place with down-to-earth people. One of the most notable aspects of Colorado is that it serves as its own market where people spread the word about music and come together to genuinely enjoy shows. I would agree that the music scene in Colorado is truly supportive of all types of music, making it an enjoyable experience for artists and audiences alike. SEE-I members who have toured with Thievery also shared that although larger venues like Red Rocks are beautiful, they prefer playing in intimate venues like Belly Up Aspen and Cervantes because they like to feel the energy in the crowd.

SEE-I performs every Wednesday at Eighteenth Street Lounge, which means that D.C. area fans have weekly opportunities to catch a show! In fact, Eighteenth Street Lounge is the birthplace of Thievery Corporation and other artists on the ESL record label. What is particularly impressive about SEE-I is that the band can come together as a cohesive family group and yet, most of the members have other projects and musical collaborations on the side.

If you can’t get enough of SEE-I’s self-titled debut album, make sure to check out the SEE-I Remix EP which was just released on November 8, 2011. I also highly recommend taking a look at ESL Music and Fort Knox Recordings, as they feature exciting projects by SEE-I’s own members! You really cannot go wrong with mixing genres because this type of musical fusion has something for everyone. - Gabriela B. - Intity Weekly


Picture the Cervantes stage lit up with a twelve-piece band playing a mixture of Afro-beat and Latin-funk. Throw in some jazzy instrumental breaks from the four piece horn section, syncopated Afro-Latin rhythms from the percussion section and you have quite a delightful dancing snack better known as Denver’s own Atomga Groove Alliance. The instrumental sections brilliantly showcased various musical influences while Devon Jones and Laura Marques provided soulful, melodic vocals to complete the ensemble.

As a lover of the Portuguese language, I was thrilled to hear undertones of Brazilian rhythms combined with background harmonies reminiscent of the infamous song, “Mais Que Nada.” I could not hide my excitement when the band covered a personal favorite of mine, “Boa Sorte” (Good Luck) by Vanessa Da Mata and Ben Harper. I thoroughly enjoyed the Atomga original song called “The Cure” which featured both of the talented lead vocalists, while adding in jam-band elements to Latin rhythms. By the time Atomga Groove Alliance finished their set, the mixed Cervantes crowd was amply warmed up and ready for some more dancing beats from SEE-I.

SEE-I is an eight piece reggae-soul band hailing from Washington, D.C. If you recognize some of the guys in the band, it’s because SEE- I features six members from Thievery Corporation. The two front men of SEE-I, easily recognizable by their get-up comprised of brimmed hats, military jackets and aviators, are brothers Arthur “Rootz” Steele and Archie “Zeebo” Steele. The pair began singing together around the age of five under the direction of their mother in their church’s children’s choir. The energy that the siblings brought to the stage is one that could have only been naturally groomed over years of performing together.

Each band member brought a unique talent and flavor to the stage that successfully drew me in throughout the performance. For instance, I was fascinated by bassist Ashish “Hash” Vyas, creator of SEE-I’s heavy bass lines that are essential to a complete reggae sound. He had this hypnotic presence on stage as he moved around barefoot, groovin’ to the music with his eyes closed. As the night progressed, I realized that the SEE-I sound would be incomplete without the incredibly talented and sharply dressed sax player Frank Mitchell Jr. His impressive musical background of soul, jazz, r&b and blues is undoubtedly an essential element of the SEE-I package.

The crowd enjoyed songs from SEE-I’s self-titled debut album such as “Soul Hit Man” and the laid back groove “Dangerous” featuring smooth vocals from Rootz. Just as I began wondering if I would hear any Thievery songs, Zeebo pulled out “3845” (A Thievery Number), one of first songs they recorded with Thievery Corporation.

In a post-show pow-wow with SEE-I, several members shared their admiration for Colorado as a beautiful place with down-to-earth people. One of the most notable aspects of Colorado is that it serves as its own market where people spread the word about music and come together to genuinely enjoy shows. I would agree that the music scene in Colorado is truly supportive of all types of music, making it an enjoyable experience for artists and audiences alike. SEE-I members who have toured with Thievery also shared that although larger venues like Red Rocks are beautiful, they prefer playing in intimate venues like Belly Up Aspen and Cervantes because they like to feel the energy in the crowd.

SEE-I performs every Wednesday at Eighteenth Street Lounge, which means that D.C. area fans have weekly opportunities to catch a show! In fact, Eighteenth Street Lounge is the birthplace of Thievery Corporation and other artists on the ESL record label. What is particularly impressive about SEE-I is that the band can come together as a cohesive family group and yet, most of the members have other projects and musical collaborations on the side.

If you can’t get enough of SEE-I’s self-titled debut album, make sure to check out the SEE-I Remix EP which was just released on November 8, 2011. I also highly recommend taking a look at ESL Music and Fort Knox Recordings, as they feature exciting projects by SEE-I’s own members! You really cannot go wrong with mixing genres because this type of musical fusion has something for everyone. - Gabriela B. - Intity Weekly


Discography

Album to be released spring 2013. Stay tuned!

Photos

Bio

Being hailed as “Denver’s newest party band” is a hefty responsibility. Luckily, no task seems too great for Denver’s 12-piece afrobeat outfit, ATOMGA to take on.

Founded in 2011, ATOMGA is already a planet-sized force taking the scene by storm. Using afrobeat as its foundation, the band is not afraid to take chances while staying true to their authentic roots--and it’s working. When ATOMGA takes the stage, it depicts organized chaos at its finest. With every performance, you get a 4-piece power-packed horn section, a steadfast percussion trifecta, a deep-groving rhythm section, and solid, engaging soloists. Every show turns into a booty-shaking dance party that leaves audiences exhausted from moving, but still craving more.

Over the past year, ATOMGA has supported Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, See-I (featuring members of Thievery Corporation), Juno What?!, John Brown's Body, The Pimps of Joytime and Balkan Beat Box. They have performed at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, The Boulder Theater, Belly Up - Aspen, Ullrs Tavern, Summit Music Hall, Desert Rocks Music Festival and are already becoming a staple in the Colorado and regional festival circuit. ATOMGA has received positive acclaim from publications including Denver Westword, Listen Up Denver, Itity Weekly and Mountain News Weekly.

ATOMGA continues to hone their craft with no inkling of complacency while continuing their “kick the audience in the face” momentum. With an unyielding desire to share the infectious energy their music has to offer, ATOMGA will