Review by Maria Stjärnell
Link to review


It's been a while since the last Velvet Chain album. Their new record is well worth the wait. Singer Erika Amato has an amazing voice and the songs are great.

"Sea of Tranquility" is jazzy and groovy. Amato's stellar voice reaches new heights as the band creates an irresistible vibe.

"Green Eyed Lady" is a cover of a song by the obscure band Sugarloaf. Heavy guitar riffs contrasts with Amato's cool voice.

The exotic-sounding "Spectrum Analyzer" is just as good.

"I Spy" was inspired by the film "La Femme Nikita" and its got the right air of spy film melodrama about it.Amato's siren voice wraps itself around the supple melody beautifully. They should try and get it on the TV show "Alias".

Elsewhere they cover Art of Noise and Serge Gainsbourg to great effect.

I could go on. "Asteroid Belt" is that good. Now go get a copy for yourself.

Iris Light Records / Karvavena
May 2004

(Includes Velvet Chain)

The Art Of Noise seem like a strange band to remix, as most of their tracks always sounded like remixes anyway. The group are most fondly remembered for a series of excellent mid-eighties releases that focused on the era’s primitive sampling technology, and were perhaps one of the first to not only push sampling technology to the forefront of their music, but also produce something cohesive and memorable. Funnily enough, two of their most famous tracks do not feature, those being ‘Close (To The Edit)’ and ‘Peter Gunn’, however there are still some gems on view. ‘Moments In Love’, remixed here by Trafik feat. Rachel Lambert, almost pre-empts Enigma with its ethnic tones and laid-back summery spring, whilst Benaco (including 808 State’s Andrew Barker) later provide a club version that sounds a little unimaginative and Benge contribute a glitchy, experimental remix of the same track that goes down a treat. It’s good that all three versions are so starkly varied.

Leading on, ‘Opus 4’ is a typical Art Of Noise track, which is remixed by Michael Schiefel and relies entirely on interweaving vocal samples, whilst Ellitot Levine provides ‘Rapt: In The Evening Air (Edit 2)’, a loungecore/jazz inspired track with spiralling piano improvisations, swiftly followed by Avon’s remix of ‘Legs’. Another memorable Art Of Noise track, ‘Snapshot’ gets the treatment from Disco Gecko Productions (aka Banco De Gaia). It takes a while to get going before flourishing into a break-beat-driven filmic piece.

Fast becoming dance legends, Hextatic give the album a grittier edge on the funk polish of ‘Backbeat’ and Art Of Noise founder JJ Jeczalik collaborates with Eddie Kulak on the ironically dreary ‘Beat Box’. Still, my favourite composition is left to last, ‘Beat Box (Diversion 2)’, mixed by Velvet Chain (A Buffy The Vampire Slayer in-house band) is excellent. Melodic, off kilter piano tones sway to a sumptuous break-beat loop, and the track breaks down and revives itself to deliver a highly musical ending. A good, but not great compilation, but it does justice to the flavour and style of The Art Of Noise and is well worth tracking down for those who have fond memories of the outfit.




Various – The Abduction of The Art of Noise
Iris Light / Karvavena

This 12 track compilation of cutting-edge cover versions of the pioneering electronic group The Art of Noise features such names as Banco De Gaia, Hexstatic, 808 State side project Benaco, Chi2 and recent Karvavena debutant Avon. Chi2 opens with ‘Eye of the Noodle’ a sauntering track with dreamy violin slices, mermaid-like vocals and phat beats, the kind of track you can get lost in. Elliot Levine serves up ‘Rapt: In the Evening Air (edit 2)’ turns the electronic mood on it’s head with a piano led track, winding in and out of scratching electric touches. Benaco takes the 808 in them and don’t disappoint, as they deliver a storming tech-house track brimming with dark energy. Velvet Chain ‘Beat Box’ rounds things off with sun kissed vibes, hypnotic electric guitars and a real chill out vibe. Gentle beats merge seamlessly with more dysfunctional elements in a surprising and hugely enjoyable finale. Karvavena are quickly establishing themselves as a label ready to challenge what you expect of them each and every release, and the kind of label you can trust to maintain it’s output at a level worthy of parting with your hard earned cash.


Click here for Fan Reviews
of Velvet Chain's new album:
Asteroid Belt.

Mean Street Magazine ~
General blurb + Custom Velvet Chain CDs
(click image)

Campus Circle ~
Review of Live Album
(click image)

Street Buzz Reporter ~
General writeup of VC
(click image)

Songwriter's Monthly ~
Great blurb on Erika's Ben Stein victory
(click image)

Performer Magazine ~
Review of Live Album
(click image)
Campus Circle ~
Show Review of Key Club gig
(click image)

Article on Velvet Chain's
gig with the Tubes


The Best Bands You've Never Seen

As a young child I wanted to be a pirate. To be sure, policeman, fireman, and astronaut held their appeal, but for me nothing surpassed the allure of buried treasure. And now, twenty some-odd years later, the remnants of that allure still remain. They're most evident when I throw a party at my place and a guest or two go through my music collection. Slowly but inevitably a look of confusion creeps upon their faces, as if they've wandered into a strange alternate universe where only on the surface do things seem right. Their question is always the same, "Who are these bands?"

Buried treasure. Greatness undiscovered. Bands and artists with passion, energy, and the courage to pursue art over commerce. The Los Angeles music scene is a sprawling, eclectic carnival, the perfect playground in which to find such bands. Here is a taste of two such buried pleasures:

Velvet Chain. I always enjoy taking the uninitiated to a Velvet Chain show. Their first reaction is always, "Why on Earth are these guys not on the radio every day?" Part of the reason may be that they're so damn hard to categorize. Mixing two guitars with keyboards and turntables, the band certainly has a heavy trip-hop influence, but that doesn't begin to describe their sound. Listening to the grooves laid down by bassist and songwriter/arranger Jeff Stacey, you hear the strong fundamentals of funk in many of their songs. And yet, their slower numbers are more like trance torch songs, Portishead a la Nina Simone.

Fronting Velvet Chain is the chanteuse Erica Amato (SEE COOL PIC, ABOVE), a powerhouse performer and vocalist, able to go from ingenue to bitch in a single chord change. Her voice is the perfect blend of power and grace with just a touch of playful whimsy, most evident when she scats as beautifully as Ella Fitzgerald ever did.

I've lost you already, haven't I? You really must go to one of their shows to understand (and they do tour the country periodically). As excellent as their albums are ("Moody Groove Music," "Warm," "Buffy," and "Groovy Side"), it is on the stage where Velvet Chain really shines. They've built up a huge following and typically play the largest, best venues in the city, the Key Club being a major haunt of theirs. Also, fans of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" will recognize the band as they've been featured on the show and have a track on the TV show's best-selling soundtrack album. The thing about seeing Velvet Chain live is they keep you off balance. You never know what's coming next. Will it be the power-rocking "You Got Me" or "Little Sugar," or will it be the electronica riffs "Frenchie" or "Asteroid Belt"

As you might expect, you can find out everything you want to know about Velvet Chain at Ain't the internet grand? Happy digging.


ABOUT THE WRITER: Screenwriter Thomas Dean Donnelly (Paramount, Fox, Miramax) can often be found in the middle of the crowd at various clubs around L.A - he's generally one who's spilled his beer all over himself.

Review by Chris Lonsberry

VELVET CHAIN - Moody Groove Music (Freak Records)

I had just returned from a week in Las Vegas. Exhausted, I thought I'd check my email before I collapsed. The only thing in the world that I could have actually wanted to find there was an email from Jeff Stacy of Velvet Chain asking me if I'd review their latest release, Moody Groove Music.

I've been waiting for this since I reviewed the Buffy EP. Moody Groove Music is more evidence to Jeff's abilities and consistency as songwriter/composer, producer and bassist. And, of course, there is the ever amazing Erika Amato. I have great respect for Erika's vocal abilities, especially in a live setting. But on Moody Groove Music, she continues to out-do herself.

The continuity and 'magic' of this CD are ample testimony to the talents of Brian Reardon and Arif Hodzic on guitars, drummer Brett Chassen, David Fraga on keyboards, and Mark "DJ Swerve" Murray doing turntables.

I heard parts of You Got Me from their website (see below). It's a strong sassy little tune that's a great opener for this CD. Wait For Me smoothes out and mellows a little. Little Sugar gets funkier again, breaking into a very nice crunch during the chorus. For me, this was one of the top three on the album (with the other 8 very close behind).

My first exposure to Watching You was from the Buffy EP. I liked it then but it has been refined and lengthened. It's better and longer. Can't complain about that. Fall Away starts out with (and continues) some great acoustic guitar work from Brian Reardon that makes this a very smooth tune. Walk On Water is a classic Velvet Chain tune starting in a mellow groove, building to an energetic pitch and then sliding back down again. Medicine Man is a cool tune... middle of the road tempo... closer to trip-pop than trip-hop. Oui Je L'Adore... French Swing? Well alright! This was different and instantly one of my favorite tracks.

I kept thinking that the band has noticeably tightened up on this CD. Very, very clean. Southwestern is probably the rockiest and most energetic track on the CD. This is a pop track with attitude! Beyond Time is another classic Velvet Chain style tune that you can check out the video for on their website. Why Can't You Behave? is another favorite with it's 1940s smoky feel. I can picture the band in tuxes. Erica out front with her hair pulled up.. long evening gown.. big diamond earrings sparkling through the smoke. (Hmmm video idea...) Hey wait a minute.. this is a Cole Porter tune! A trip-hop band doing Cole Porter? And doing it really well? I'm not just impressed, I'm in awe.

Rik Emmett of Triumph once said that they liked to put tracks on the albums that were outside the boundaries of 'Rock and Roll' because they wanted to expose people to all these other great forms of music. Those of us who love music for what it is can appreciate that. I love the range on Moody Groove Music. It feels smoother than the previous CDs. Is it the Velvet Chain we know and love? Most of the time. The rest of the time, they expose us to a Velvet Chain that is diverse and extremely talented regardless of what they take on.

Warm took a few listenings before I became addicted. (It's been in my car CD player for a month now.) But after two times, I've found another island CD. You know, if you were stranded on a deserted island and could only have 10 CDs, which ones would you have?..

Okay.. closing thought. I read somewhere that all a record company A&R person wants is to hear something different. Anything. For them, Velvet Chain is the promised land. They do mainstream commercial music really well but have the ability to pull off Cole Porter with class. Add to that the excellent musicianship of the entire band and I'm half tempted to go into A&R myself.

No matter what else you do with your life, buy this CD! It's available exclusively (for now) from their website at Not convinced? Go listen to them at their website or at

Contact: Jeff Stacy, Los Angeles.

Rating 4 1/2 stars Reviewed by Chris Lonsberry - 06/21/2000

Review by Melanie Vilnis

VELVET CHAIN - Moody Groove Music (Freak Records)

This music is just funked up beyond recognition, I love being this funked up on such a natural high of Velvet Chain, the drug of the new millennium. I have written about this talent in recent times and at that stage the band had carried a very commercial vibe which has now been washed away with the release of Moody Groove Music. This album displays an underground dark alluring feeling that is almost frightening. Everyone claims to have had 15 minutes of fame and made even more extraordinary claims about the event. For once we have such a claim which has drawn a lifetime of attention; Velvet Chain shared a previous release entitled 'Strong' on the 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' soundtrack. Now that is something very few can boast and carry as a prized trophy 12 months later. It is very obvious why Velvet Chain were chosen to be part of such a world wide release, there is a certain mystery and elusive manner (just when you think you can pigeon hole the sound they throw an eagle at you) about the musicianship of Velvet Chain. Front woman Erika Amato is comparative to just about any female vocalist that has graced the rock charts in the past decade. The guys behind Erika really know how to carry this fine lady sailing across the songs with ease and grace, presenting to me a very professional and well molded partnership within the members of the band. Velvet Chain have put the 'trip' into trip-hop. Indulge in a few tracks and taste the drug of the new millennium. Devour Moody Groove Music today.





Review by Chris Lonsberry

VELVET CHAIN - The Buffy EP (Freak Records)

In case you didn't catch my review of their "Warm" CD, I'm a recent Velvet Chain convert and it's a ride I'm still enjoying very much

"The Buffy EP" was originally intended for fans of the show but has been released nationally due to demand. It holds some nice tidbits indeed! (I was a little bummed to find out that I had the internet version of the EP since, from what I understand, the national version includes the newer version of Strong and a version of Treason... which is easily my favoritest, bestest all-time VC tune....easily. Go hit their website and check out the RealVideo clip of Treason. She's... er.. I mean.. it's amazing.)


Okay, let's start with "Buffy". Personally, I've never seen the show, don't really want to and have had it up to here with the whole gothic thing. Yeah, yeah vampires and boogiemen... next. But for the life of me (no pun intended), I catch myself singing the chorus of this crunchy song alot during the course of a day. I think this song could be about anything and still reel you in. It's just got those kinds of hooks in it.

"Watching You" is a slower piece that's bound to catch you swaying along involuntarily. We should be seeing it on the upcoming full length "Moody Groove Music" that's due in Spring of 2000. (And honest.. it's not about stalking... okay.. maybe a little.. I like to think of it as strongly admiring from a distance).

"Lovin' Ain't So Easy"... like a siren on the rocks as sailors race to meet their end in certain disaster. I always want a cigarette after this smooth groove song. (And I haven't smoked in 9 years) Did I mention that this is a good tune? It's originally from "Groovy Side", the band's 1996.. currently out of print CD.

"I Don't Care" is a mellow, misty song that, to me, sounded like it had less of the 'hop' vibe that exists in their music...more of a slow pop sensibility. It's a variation to the CD that gives it one end of it's range.

The original version of "Strong" is on here and I gotta tell ya.. I think it's the best thing on this EP. I really like it. It's smooth. It's easy. It's warm. It's sexy. It's machine washable. If you weren't highly impressed by the version on "Warm", listen to this one.

The extended club mix of "Frenchie" is a good thing made better. My original review of "Frenchie" (from the "Warm" CD) was something about a fun-filled sample-fest that was highly danceable.. or something like that. Well, more of it. I like putting this on and counting the people in the room who start moving with it in some form or another. I'm batting a thousand so far.

Velvet Chain continues to put out well produced, well written and performed, excellent music. I'm looking forward to much more. You can order CDs, find out more about the band and hear/see media clips on their website at You can also hear MP3 files at Reviewed by Chris Lonsberry - 12/20/1999


FROM: Scott G TO: DATE: Mon, 06 Dec 1999 20:31:21 -0800 RE:

Review of you. Hi Jeff - Kati of NIGHT MOVES says this is what she's publishing in the next issue (due out Dec. 10, 1999). Enjoy. If you quote from it, please credit Night Moves and Immedia Wire Service. Best, Scott (G-Man)

VELVET CHAIN at The Key Club by G-Man Do you remember your first rollercoaster ride? That delicious feeling of surrendering to forces beyond your control -- the heart-in-your-throat sensation? Velvet Chain produces that "oh my God!" reaction in song after song. Their material comes barreling at you with the power of a hurricane, yet with tunes that are ultimately soothing. There's thunderous rock here, but it's wrapped in the cloak of several influences, including funk and Gabor Szabo trance jazz. They appeal to lovers of goth, ambient and gypsy music -- and people who just want their bodies slammed around by some earth-shattering rock 'n' roll.

Primary writer Jeff Stacy plays bass in a way that reminds you of a runaway train, yet there's grace and style in his performance. Out front is Erika Amato, a woman who appears to be a wisp of a shadow of a spectre, but possessing a voice as big as all outdoors. Singing sensuous, sinewy lines with the fervor of a religious convert, Amato is thoroughly captivating.

The band's sound has a light-as-a-feather touch while delivering big hooks with terrific emotional intensity. Arif is a sensational lead guitarist, and rhythm master Brian Reardon is a superb axe artist. Brett Chassen kills on drums. The keyboard textures from David Fraga take the tunes to higher levels of enjoyment, as do the pulsating fills from Mark "D.J. Swerve" Murry. Their material is excellent, and the newer songs, including "You Got Me," are very impressive, making the appearance of their forthcoming album (appropriately titled "Moody Groove Music") a highly anticipated event in 2000.


Music Connection

Album Network

Campus Circle

Hot City

L.A. Daily News

The Aquarian (N.Y.)

Jam On-Line

Rock Love


Favorite Description of Velvet Chain Music:
Psycho-groovy, trip-funky, vibed-out, loaded with sexual innuendo, unpredictable, liquid-explosive rock music.
- Sam Storey, Studio Engineer

Favorite Quote by a Club Owner:
You'd have to be an ass-hole not to like Velvet Chain.
- Steve Yablok, Club Fais Do-Do, Los Angeles

Favorite Reaction by a Fan:
Ok, I need to have sex immediately.
- Lisa Langston, Chicago

Favorite Line from the Press:
"Warm" is so urgent it makes my entire CD collection sound outdated.
- J.P. Griffith, Jam On-Line

Rock Love Review

(or text version)

Totally Adult Review

(or text version)




Various Artists
The abduction of The Art Of Noise
Iris Light/Karvavena

For a group swiping its name from an Italian futurist, there was always something gloriously retro, even Old Europe, about Art of Noise. Maybe it was all those marble statues adorning their album sleeves. Or perhaps it was because its members were, by and large, career professionals all entering their mid-30s by the time Trevor Horn’s studio crew showed their boss what they’d come up with during a late-night session (bizarrely, for Yes’s 90125 album). But whether it was the stop-frame video for “Close (To the Edit)” that featured a little girl leading grown men in the destruction of orchestral instruments, the 18th century theater masks that became their iconic calling card, or the Stalling-esque blasts of orchestra and (most famously) samples of cars starting that comprised the music itself, Art of Noise’s brand of futurism always seemed to depend on the past it professed to transcend.

Appropriate, then, that one of pop’s oldest forms of flattery, the tribute album, would be bestowed in 2004 on the infamous anti-group, now hailed as one of the principal harbingers of electronica. Three years in the making, The abduction of The Art Of Noise features new versions of 12 AoN tracks spanning the group’s entire career, from the inaugural release on Horn’s Zang Tuum Tumb imprint, the Into Battle EP, onto its work with China Records, where AoN found notoriety with art-house cover versions of famous songs with famous guests (most notably Tom Jones on Prince’s “Kiss”), prior to reconvening with ZTT in 1999 for a brilliantly flawed concept record about French composer, Claude Debussy. Like most tributes, abduction seeks to comment on the prescience and influence of the original by way of illustrating its relation to today’s music scene. But as journalist/ZTT expert/Karvavena supremo/compiler Ian Peel well knows, when you’re dealing with a legacy as broad and hard to pin down as Art of Noise’s, extracting its essence is a task easier said than done.

But it’s one well worth undertaking. At the heart of that legacy is the group’s ZTT work between 1983 and 1984 (largely compiled on 1987’s Daft), which challenged the very notion of what a pop group was, putting album sleeves, song titles and marketing tactics before any face the listener could identify. Originally comprised of engineer Gary Langan, computer programmer J.J. Jeczalik and arranger Anne Dudley, with Horn overseeing matters and former NME scribe and provocateur Paul Morley making the noises committed to print, AoN manufactured their industrial symphonies using the most exclusive of expensive toys: the Fairlight sampling synthesizer, which allowed the band to manipulate sound in real time. And manipulate they did: producing mechanical cartoon music with songs such as “Beat Box” and the aforementioned “Close (To the Edit)” (itself a radical remix of “Beat Box”), featuring jackhammer beats and stuttering jazz bass samples. Despite these harder-edged songs, it was the lush impressionism of “Moments In Love” that became the group’s signature piece, taking Eno’s ambient concept to new, somewhat unnerving levels, marrying atmosphere with a breathy vocal sample reminiscent of 10cc’s “I’m Not In Love” and slowly deforming it over 10 ethereal minutes. Almost too fittingly, “Moments In Love” would serve as the soundtrack to Sean Penn and Madonna’s doomed union for their 1985 wedding.

Of abduction’s 12 tracks, 7 date from the ZTT era, no less than three of which are versions of “Moments In Love”. Immediately apparent is how singular Art of Noise’s voice really was. Where the new recording of “Beat Box” by Art of Silence (half of which is AoN founder, J.J. Jeczalik) largely undermines the austerity of the original by replacing the choppy 8-bit Fairlight textures with the filter-sweeps and organ pads found in contemporary progressive house, Benge’s version of “Moments”, recorded with a Fairlight CMI synthesizer that was programmed by Jeczalik himself, manages to sound both faithful and contemporary. Part of it may lie in the difference in technology; or perhaps house and four-to-the-floor techno simply owe a lot less to Art of Noise than IDM and glitch.

And while Banco De Gaia’s fine rendering of Who’s Afraid’s “Snapshot” (under the pseudonym of Disco Gecko Productions) might challenge that notion somewhat, the case that AoN midwifed contemporary IDM is furthered by BitTonic & si-cut.db’s take on one of Into Battle’s oddest tracks, “Donna”, infusing the track with a sense of dubby weirdness that also recalls Moebius and Plank’s seminal Rastakrautpasta. And proving that it wasn’t only electronica that paid its respects, Michael Schiefel and Chi2 present an equally formidable case that post-ZTT AoN made a deep impression on contemporary concert composers, with the latter’s reading of “Eye of the Noodle” successfully marrying Chinese strings, vocal percussives and beats supplied by Goldfrapp to a longing melancholy melody.

This being a tribute record, all the cuts don’t work. Though Velvet Chain’s take on “Beat Box (Diversion 2)” smartly focuses on the original’s impressionistic piano comping coda, Elliot Levine’s quartet-with-a-DJ take on the Debussy-drift of “Rapt: In the Evening Air”, all live drums and heavy jazz solos, comes off heavy-handed. But all in all, I’m quibbling—abduction’s packaging (including several clever ZTT factoids) and tracklisting alike are top notch.

The larger question is: does The abduction of The Art Of Noise capture the ephemeral genius and sense of irreconcilable conflict that was Art of Noise? Yes...but not quite to the point where it recreates it. At its best, Art of Noise always betrayed a desperate loneliness lurking underneath the wicked, geekish mischief; despite the generally high quality of the tracks presented here, that sense remains frustratingly absent. Like so much early 80s futurism, reconstruction or even dissection after the fact often proves challenging—just ask Ladytron or Phil Oakey. The future, once so alien, stops feeling like the future and starts to feel more like the here and now—which is fine…just not as inherently thrilling. As such, abduction is a engaging listen, but perhaps one best suited for the faithful, the already converted for whom the thrill keeps on keeping on.

Reviewed by: Matthew Weiner

Reviewed on: 2004-04-15















Artist Name: Velvet Chain
CD Title: Asteroid Belt
Home: Los Angeles, California
Style: Jazz/Dance
Quote: “A sonic cocktail of acid jazz, lounge jazz, and a splash of funk, with a twist of ambient electronica on the rocks.”

Grade: A

By: Erik Deckers,

Velvet Chain was the first band I encountered on the indie music scene, and they’ve always been a favorite. I love their heavy bass grooves, musical hooks, and Erika Amato’s sultry voice -- and
you can find it in anything and everything they’ve done. They don’t disappoint on their latest release, “Asteroid Belt.”

The biggest difference is that they’ve moved away from their usual dance/trip-hop style, and ventured into the improvised/acid jazz arena. Their secret was in the recording sessions: bassist Jeff Stacy had created a series of "musical templates” using bass grooves, loops, and beats, and told the musicians to just play whatever they wanted, in order to “capture the players’ musical instincts.”

The result? A sonic cocktail of acid jazz, lounge jazz, and a splash of funk, with a twist of ambient electronica. On the rocks.

Velvet Chain recruited former Sugarloaf keyboardist Jerry Corbetta to play on VC’s cover of “Green-Eyed Lady” by Sugarloaf.

Highs: “Everyone Loves the Art of Noise.” At least I do. Not only was it cool to hear the band cover an Art of Noise song -- Beat Box -- but I loved the follow-up tune, the aforementioned “Everyone Loves the Art of Noise.”

Outstanding Performance: Erika Amato has always been my favorite link in the Velvet Chain, but I have to give the OP to bassist Jeff Stacy, both for his production work on the album, as well as his driving bass
performance on “Green-Eyed Lady.”

Lows: Although it’s sonically symbolic of Jeff Stacy’s creative process -- improvised jazz -- I wasn’t real wild about “General Eclectic.” I’ve never been a big fan of bebop and jazz improv, because the chaos and
unpredictability of those styles drive me nuts. And while the drums and bass kept me from going completely over the edge, everything else in this track was. . . just not to my liking.

Favorite Lines: They have a word for women like this. . . from “Cash”:
Your every wish is my desire
When I’m with you baby, I’m on fire
I’ll give you everything you need. . .
Just give me all your cash. . .

Fans: If you like Beanstalk, Arthur Loves Plastic, or Alien Pop (all reviewed here on, you’ll love “Asteroid Belt.”

Foes: If your idea of electronic jazz music is hitting the “Samba” button on that 30-year-old Hammond organ in your grandmother’s basement, then you’ll probably be frightened by “Asteroid Belt.”

Summary: Velvet Chain is one of those “slash-rock” bands -- they’re dance/trip-hop/pop/jazz/groove funk/etc., who can emphasize any facet of their sound, and still create brilliance. And rather than veering away from their dance/trip-hop roots, they’ve focused on their jazz and groove and given us “Asteroid Belt.” If you’ve got all their other albums, be sure to add this one to your collection. If you don’t, then make this one your first.

By: Erik Deckers,