Friday 5 July 2024

'The Napoli Exchange' by Ex Generation

Energy Exchange Records has really become a thriving playground for the label's founders, musicians and producers Lewis Moody and Ziggy Zeitgeist.  With projects boasting each of their vast talents now released under the Energy Exchange umbrella, the label has been amassing some delectable releases that run the gamut of electronic, broken beat and future soul. 

With an extensive array of musical credits to his name, drummer Ziggy Zeitgeist has racked up production and collaboration credits alongside Oscar Jerome, the JK Group and Horatio Luna, Zeitgeist has further made waves as a member of future soul heroes 30/70 Collective and for heading up his own Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange and his duo project with Alex Trebo, YOBYUDI.  With an incredible work ethic and a multitude of projects - along with subsequent accolades and plaudits - Zeitgeist's efforts could only be matched by those of Energy Exchange cohort, Lewis Moody.

With a similarly impressive collaboration resume, Moody also continues to see his own star rise with work for Myele Manzanza, Rosie Frater-Taylor and Nubiyan Twist, not to mention his own run of excellent remixes for Energy Exchange audiences which see the producer (under the GOODMOOD moniker) bestow soulful house reimaginings upon classic 90s R&B numbers like Aaliyah's 'If Your Girl Only Knew' and Janet's 'If' and 'Velvet Rope'.  

Both, Zeitgeist and Moody display inspired perspectives on progressive and boundary-less musical soundscapes - an ethos that ultimately makes their new project, 'The Napoli Exchange', such a compelling project.

After having spent time in Naples, Zeitgeist and Moody - creating here under the guise of Ex Generation - opted to use some of the Italian music they had become enamoured with as the basis for their new project.  There's a vast amount of Italy's musical luminaries that continue to make a tremendous impact on respective scenes around the world.  From the bossa-meets-jazz maestro Nicola Conte, to the continued efforts of drummer Tommaso Cappellato to the part-electronic, part-African rhythms aesthetic of DJ Khalab releases, Italy's thriving scenes capture the sun-kissed positive energy exuded from the country's beaming creativity.

'The Napoli Exchange' is very much about capturing Italy's passion for their music and introducing that to the open-minded sensibilities of Zeitgeist and Moody.  With an A-list line-up of musicians involved, Ex Generation further includes contributions from producer Federico Gallotti, bassist Paolo Petrella, keyboardist Dario Bassolino, guitarist Alessio Pignorio and flautist Max Dowling.  Saxophonist Pietro Santangelo makes a notably fascinating inclusion particularly when considering his own electronic, broken beat-infused jazz via his outstanding PS5 project.  

The album's nine tracks clearly gear this project towards the dancefloor with their sublime lo-fi disco soundscapes conveying such positive energy and a genuine affection for Naples as the project's inspiration.  A showcase for some wonderfully innovative productions, the Honeylips-assisted 'Holding Your Heart' is an undeniable standout as is the Allysha Joy contribution on 'Hurting Lies', who each provide fantastic vocals to their respective tracks.

Ex Generation and 'The Napoli Exchange' prove an awesome addition for Energy Exchange Records as both Ziggy Zeitgeist and Lewis Moody continue to cultivate the label's varied and thrilling releases as veritable extensions of themselves.  More fantastic music is surely imminent.

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