Leave it up to the Munich's Compost label (Jazzanova, Truby Trio) to come up with the summer's tightest soundtrack of jazz-laden electronica. The eponymous debut by Intuit is Compost's jazz-savviest disc yet. Make no mistake, the production team of drummer Thomas Braun and bassist Till Maragnoli keep the rhythms and grooves firmly rooted in multiculti funk, from Afro-beat ("Wewa" and "Peace of Mind") to Brazilian bounce ("Crianca das Ondas"). But it's the excellent guest appearances of Andy Bey, Dean Bowman, Flora Purim, Ray Obiedo and Airto that elevate the proceedings. Much like how Brit electronica innovators 4Hero craft mesmerizing soundscapes for the likes of Terry Callier and Mark Murphy to sing over, Intuit reinvents Bey as a jazztronica crooner. And judging from "Planet Birth," Intuit knows its jazz history, because the duo constructed a funky groove reminiscent of Gary Bartz's NTU Troop and Horace Silver's Total Response trilogy. Even though the lyrics were penned by Braun and Maragnoli, it's easy to believe that "Planet Birth" is a lost track from Bey's 1970 cult classic Experience and Judgment. He sings of reincarnation over chunky Moog bass line, haunting background vocals, twinkling vibraphones and snappy horns. (Bey also assists Intuit on its Afro-futuristic "Western Sunrise.")
In fact, much of Intuit is glorious summation of pan-African futurism with distinct links to the Black Power-ed jazz-funk from influential labels such as Strata-East, Tribe, Flying Dutchman and Cadet. The moody "A New Beginning," featuring galactic vocals from Cecile Verny, sounds like a fantasy session by Sun Ra, Bobby Hutcherson and Rotary Connection. Then there's the melancholy "Let It Flee," featuring urgent pleas from vocalist Dean Bowman, that could easily pass for one of Gil Scott-Heron's urban parables.