Jazzanova has been producing and remixing music since the mid-'90s.

Jazzanova has been producing and remixing music since the mid-'90s. In '98, the Berlin-based collective—Axel Reinemer, Stefan Leisering, Roskow Kretschmann, Alexander Barck, Claas Brieler, and Jürgen von Knoblauch—teamed with Germany's much-respected Compost Recordings to form JCR (Jazzanova Compost Recordings). Now, Jazzanova finally offers its first proper artist album. Was it worth the wait? In a word, yes. Combining numerous samples, live instrumentation, and guest vocalists, Jazzanova deftly constructs a landscape where jazz, hip-hop, world music, soul, funk, and dance/electronic run free. While a track like "Dance the Dance" (featuring Doug Hammond) will surely be played in clubs that cater to more sophisticated punters, its lively rhythms shouldn't be overlooked by Madison Avenue execs. Elsewhere on the album, Jazzanova employs the services of Capital A ("The One-Tet"), Ursula Rucker and Hawkeye Phanatic ("Keep Falling"), and Valerie Etienne and Rob Gallagher ("Mwela, Mwela [Here I Am]"), among others. The Desney Bailey-fronted "Takes You Back (Unexpected Dub)" is tailor-made for a sweltering, yet breezy, summer day. Closing track "Wasted Time" (with Vikter Duplaix) could easily be played alongside your favorite Jill Scott, D'Angelo, or Maxwell track. Hardcore fans take note: A limited-edition CD (the European version, actually, which was designed by Jazzanova to look like a fairy-tale book) precedes the release of a standard digipak format.—MP