RuAch Review by: Skope Magazine, Boston

Peace family,
as we continue in this series I would like to share this RuAch album review, We give thanks to Jason Hillenburg from skope magazine for taking his time to share his perspectives on our music.
feel free to have a read bellow.

Peace & blessings.

Vonj

Vonji – ‘Ruach’ by Skope • April 6, 2017:
Kenya native and UK based multi-instrumentalist Vonji Uzele has a steadily growing discography featuring his varied talents and the latest release in his career, Ruach, is a thirteen track outing featuring the talents of guitarist Garry Millhouse, saxophonist Carmine Manfredi, and drummer Martin Donovan. Producer Mat Diamond has done an exemplary job of bringing outstanding sonic clarity to this often challenging music and his influence clearly strikes up considerable chemistry with Vonji and his musical collaborators. There are some strong influences circulating through this collection, but Vonji has a wholly individual sound filtered through those colors and no one can accuse him of lapsing into self-indulgence and imitation. This isn’t music pandering for commercial attention; instead, Vonji is working in a realm all his own and the iconoclastic slant he brings to this work will leave a lasting effect on any music devotee. Ruach is thirteen songs with a lot of punch and musical variation that few artists, at any level, can readily match.

The album opener “Out of the Mire” begins with intensely rhythmic percussion, acoustic instrumentation, and sharply angular guitar work gaining power as it progresses. It’s an instrumental track, but there are choral voices employed that sweeten the often fiery performance. The track is relatively short, but it makes maximum impact within less than three minutes. The terse and intensely melodic guitar opening “Skin Deep” is soon joined by a more lyrical lead guitar snaking over the top and segues into some impressive flourishes. The vocal contributions to the song have a nicely exhortative quality and the chorus underlines those elements without ever pushing too hard. It’s hard to resist the emphatic passion coming from every passage of this song. The powerful bass playing in this song is given a prominent position in the mix and works quite well with the lead guitar and rhythm section. “Gold Rush” has a much more straight ahead rock and roll attack and foregoes the experimental edge we’ve encountered on the album thus far. Vonji’s vocals veer from an impassioned bellow to snarling raucousness.

“Amnesia” has a decidedly dream-like, laid back vibe vaguely reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix’s work, sans guitar pyrotechnics. Vonji and his collaborators frame the echo-laden guitar work in imaginative ways and the song gradually sharpens its experimental edge as it progresses. One of the album’s longer songs, “Vox Populi” begins with some sternum rattling bass moving at a leaden, deliberate pace and accompanied by understated drumming. The introduction of a growling sax line darkens the texture some, but Vonji’s clear vocal pushes back against that darkness and balances it nicely. There’s some particularly strong guitar work in the song’s second half and the vocal arrangement serves the track quite well throughout. In some ways, Vonji and his collaborators are reminiscent of The Mahavishnu Orchestra’s prime work and few comparisons could be better. This is a powerful musical release on every level and, while it has little commercial appeal, it hits home with those who love music as art.
9 out of 10 stars

Jason Hillenburg

https://skopemag.com/2017/04/06/vonji-ruach

Behind the RuAch record

& so the story continues, another chapter in the musical journey. As our experiences become broader we take it as a responsibility to share what we have learned along the way. I have come to understand that each day is a given time to adjust oneself through Spirit, and even when the road is rocky, we must see these experiences as lessons, and only with spirit can we rise above and continue towards fulfilling our vision. We live in a world where man has corruptly complicated things, religiously, and politically, ultimately setting us on the wrong direction from our calling, we need to gain back our spirit and let this be the primary source for which to govern our lives. I know that Music is one of greatest ways to lift people’s spirits, so may this be clear at the gate, that this is what we are here to do and this is what I have and will always play music for.

“Each year births a new level of growth, you should see these signs by the people & the things that manifest around you”
When I was thinking about this album project, all I wanted was to make some honest music in a family type atmosphere. Martin Donovan was the first person I asked to help me on the project, we previously worked together and we always had a good musical chemistry, and his drumming methods have always been captivating, but more than this within our personal experiences we have always been there to show each other support. When I had the direction to follow through with the album me & martin began doing open Jam sessions, but one thing was for sure, if we were to let the musical inspiration flow naturally for the record, then the album would have to be recorded independently. I already had some recording equipment, Martin bought some drum mics, & the plan was set to start recording. The only thing we needed now was a venue to set up the studio, as we began to receive complaints that our jams were too loud for the venue we were currently using…

Carmine Manfredi. Carrying on through the weeks I knew there was an element that was missing within the music, this was the sound of the saxophone, I started keeping my eyes open for players, now we fast forward… Me and Mat Diamond decided to hang out at an Italian restaurant “Ponte Veccio”, I remember when we got in the restaurant we heard some Bossa nova music playing on rotation, this sparked a musical conversation, Carmine who was working behind the bar caught our conversation, we introduced each other then he told us he plays the saxophone, I then invited him for a jam with me & martin, when we got into a jam that day I knew that this was the sound we needed, but even more so it was about where that sound was coming from, his spirit!, this is a guy who only had been playing for literally 6 months, but his enthusiasm for learning and playing the instrument was inspiring. On our second Jam session together “River Nun” was born, of which was recorded live that same night.

The Cave. Right after the completion of River Nun, We were forced to have to find another venue to make and record music. This was indeed a drawback at the time, as we were only just beginning to gain a creative momentum, and I knew that it would not be easy to find an affordable venue where we could all get together and make music in peace, But I kept the faith that we would find something somewhere. One day me and Carmine were walking and talking, then he suddenly hit upon an idea, he said “I know just the place we need”, a few weeks came to pass & then we finally got the key’s to what we now call “The Cave” This became our creative Sanctuary from then on.

Mat Diamond. Through all these events Mat was always there as a friend, He is a Producer from Hungary with a vast experience in the world of music, we have always shown each other support, & Just like Martin & Carmine, we all fit in together like family. Mat started off as a Jazz/funk drummer before moving to become a steady R&B producer, But after we acquired the Cave I called him out so that he can resurrect his gift of “laying grooves”, each recorded session was a therapeutic experience for us.

I and Mat have shared many in depth conversations about the music industry & where we see things headed. We know everyone is influenced by music, but what happens when the spirit gets taken OUT of music?

In real time we see the divide in music, but we can clearly see that the division of music has caused a division in the people. The mission for the album was to fuse musical styles & elemental’s together & bring people out of that genre system & into a broader scope of thought.

Garry Millhouse: is an experienced Spanish guitarist, whom happened to drop around the Cave just days before I sent the music off to be published, everything has a reason and a purpose, We happened to be on the same musical wave length, & he was enthused to lay some Spanish guitar down for the project, We recorded our improvisations live, this was indeed a magical experience.

We all come from extremely different backgrounds, but there is one thing we all have in common…Spirit!

So if someone ever asks you…if a Born African man, a born Italian, a born Hungarian, & born English men, can come together like family & make music. Show them the success story of Ruach!
We all thank you for your support, & we hope you enjoy the album.
Love & Unity people.

Vonj

Ruach: breath, wind, spirit
Original Word: ר֫וּחַ
Transliteration: ruach
Phonetic Spelling: (roo’-akh)
Short Definition: Spirit

http://www.vonjruach.com

Do not give up – coming soon – & much more…

Blessings there family.

Rolling from the post I sent earlier today, I would like to introduce you to more Raw videos showing the musical process.  You see many would feel somewhat embarrassed showing half Idea’s, But not me, as a matter of fact I feel proud to showcase this side of things, The evolution process of anything is usually kept behind closed doors to the public, but I think it is critical for people to understand that nothing great appears magically all at once.

So before you see the space shuttle I will first take you through each elemental,  the orbital manoeuvring system, fuselage, computer station, engine powerhouse  etc. so that when the album is out “one day” you will understand how it fly’s.

Love Vonj

Can you flip your record into your Future?

Love & Unity Family!, I made a new self discovery today of which I hope will positively inspire you all………………

It all started when I was going through all my old music records, I stumbled upon a cassette tape, Side A of the tape was labelled “Now” and side B was titled “Future”, All I knew is that the cassette label was hand written by me when I was 13, I knew I was 13 because this was when I was just starting to learn a cursive style of hand writing and it was a poor example at the time, although strangely enough to me I just could not remember the content within the cassette, this got me very curious, I just needed to know what was on this cassette, I put the tape aside while I continued going through all my other records, about 2 hours had gone ((I have a lot of records)) I picked up the “Now” & “Future” cassette tape, Keep in mind all along I had not sussed what was on it, so I started looking around the house for an old cassette Walkman that I was uncertain I still owned, after a 1 hour search amongst old dusty boxes I found the Walkman!  dint have any new spare battery’s to run the Walkman so I took a couple of “AA’s” off my TV remote control, slipped the tape on the side labelled  “Now”, plugged my headphones in and pushed the play button…

First I heard the nostalgic sound of the natural hiss one hears from playing a cassette, after about 45 seconds of hiss I was about to trash the tape but just before I hit stop I heard my voice, and It was 13 year old me speaking, and this is what I said….

“I know who I am”                                        (2 minute silence)
“But where am I going?”                                (3 minute silence)
“will I ever come to a stop?”                          (4 minute silence)
“or will I continuously keep growing?”

and that was it. I forwarded the tape, flipped it over to Side “B” nothing further…

Now just over “13 years later” I started to evaluate myself……

I still know myself, I am grounded within my roots, I know what I stand for…Note this was the only statement I made on the cassette, the rest were posing questions, the first question “But where am I going?”, although I cannot fully answer this question I can still look at the patterns of my life in hind site to see my potential future. Following down the other questions I now know that “I will never stop” going where my spirit needs to take me!, and I will always make sure “I am growing”, as a man, and in my works.

It shocked me that I had such a deep perception to reality when I was only 13, looking back I am glad that I was strong enough to overcome the ways of the world and avoid all the crooked influences that would surround me as a teenager growing into a young man.

This tape hit me in such a potent way that my focus now will be centred specifically toward helping the young, as I have truly come to understand that the younger you are the closer you really are to your spirit, I have always wondered why the young can adapt quicker to anything than a fully grown adult? now I know. This is why the young need not only to hear but to see positive things, because as quick as they can adapt to positivity in the same way they can also adopt to wrong ways. When I was a young boy I knew I was lucky because I was always surrounded by love, this is why I grew up to love and not to hate.

Today was the dawn of my self assessment phase, and just today without going into much detail I can say that I have learnt a lot about myself by simply hearing where my mind was 13 years ago.

So I would suggest to all people in all ages to choose the cycle for self assessment, Dig into your spirit and ask yourself the right questions about your life. I would recommend you to record your voice (we have recording technology right within our fingertips), your recorded voice will hit you with a lot more impact 2-5-15-20 years down the line than any hand written document would. People asses your current attitude, assess the company you are frequently amongst, and the works and influences you produce, are you growing through every cycle? or are you still in stagnation?. This is all in the name of elevation.

Love & Unity family!

Vonj