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Shake Stew 'Heat'

Barcode: 705304470619

Heat is the fifth album since Shake Stew's formation in 2016 and delivers probably the most diverse overall impression of their musical range to date. For the first time in the band's history, there was a personnel change in the horn section at the beginning of 2021, where the Austrian alto saxophonist Astrid Wiesinger took over the position from Clemens Salesny. The addition of Wiesinger has given the band an injection of new energy and we can hear the electricity buzzing on each track.

Its genesis also reflects a decisive characteristic that has accompanied the band from the beginning: since the first note played together, the septet's music has been forging its way, unceasingly bringing forth new facets - no matter how adverse the circumstances. As Heat's seven compositions took on more and more concrete form towards the end of 2020, it quickly became clear that this music had to be recorded as soon as possible and sent out into the world. At the same time society was moving from one lockdown to the next and rehearsals between the partly Austrian and partly German musicians* could only be realised under difficult conditions. Therefore, the decision was made that a large-scale project was needed to get the band out of the daily routine of the pandemic and into an environment where they could fully ignite the fire that had arisen in the new line-up and capture it on record. The Cicaleto Studio in Arezzo (Tuscany, Italy) was chosen as perfect location and with great logistical effort (travelling up to 18 hours by various trains to keep the ecological footprint as small as possible) Shake Stew managed to work and make music together in this enclave for five days. Already on the first evening, everyone was aware of how valuable this coming together is in times of interpersonal isolation, and the intense energy and joy of playing during these studio sessions can be sensed on Heat after only a few moments.

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