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the Gauntlet

Azeda Booth: A Japanese enclosure of some kind?

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The elusive sound of Azeda Booth is a difficult bird to catch. Described by band members as "an interstellar Japanese blend of post-neo-futurecore pop," the songs on their upcoming EP, Mysterious Body, feature an equal blend of electronica, melodic guitar and founding member Jordon Hossack's searingly feminine vocals. The result is an extremely textured, borderline-ambient sound reminiscent of Aphex Twin and Sigur Ros.

"Our music's been pretty well-received across fans of different genres," says band member Marc Rimmer. "I've had people from death metal bands and hardcore bands that were on the same bill as us who said they totally loved it. But then there's people who usually like pop music that totally hate it."

As hard to pigeon hole as their music can be, it's an equally futile endeavor to attempt to pin roles on the members who comprise the Calgary-based Azeda Booth. Band members Hossack, Chris Reimer, Myke Atkinson, Mike Wallace, Morgan Greenwood and Rimmer swap instruments like spit at a homecoming dance. Aside from Hossack's vocals, the only real consistency is in their prevalent love for Jay-Z. Not surprisingly, this artist adoration comes out very little in their music.

"There's a lot of crossover in what we listen to," says Atkinson of the band's influences. "It's just not necessarily what we create. We all separately create really different material. So when that all comes together and merges it's this fusion of glory and passion."

Due to the huge buzz following Azeda Booth around the Calgary music scene, there's already an established degree of anticipation built toward their debut release. Mysterious Body, due out Sat., March 31, reflects several years of planning and recording. Long before any additional members joined, Hossack and Greenwood were recording samples for the EP in Greenwood's basement.

"[Jordon and Morgan] always pictured it as a cohesive thing," says Reimer. "Those are the songs they wanted, and that's the order they wanted them in. It was a piece for them, it was one whole thing."

The album's title, Mysterious Body, represents Greenwood and Hossack's first exploration into working with other artists to create music. Despite joining a band with an existing body of work, the members who joined to form Azeda Booth's present lineup share a similar vision and purpose.

"I like to inspire people," says Rimmer. "Whenever I see a good piece of design or a good photo, I can tell it's good when it scares me into thinking my stuff sucks, so it encourages me to go out and try harder. For me, to inspire other musicians is the ultimate goal and to have everyone else just enjoy our music enough to want to come to another show."

The release of Mysterious Body will be followed by a mini-Western-Canadian tour to promote the EP. The band has plans to work on a full-length album in the near future, but is also cautious of jumping too fast into brand new material without giving Mysterious Body its due.

"Especially considering that these are songs we've been familiar with for two years, we're excited to record new material," says Atkinson. "But then, as familiar as we might be with the songs on Mysterious Body, there are people who haven't heard any of the tracks on this CD. So while we do want to start working on new stuff, we'll be keeping that in the background for now."

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