Self-described “Groove Collective” The Wali Sanga more than live up to their title. Fronted by multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Alexander “Sheriff” Ariff, the collective features the talents of vocalist Maralisa Simmons-Cook and tenor saxophonist Troy Roberts. Their new single, “Catacombs,” calls to mind contemporary artists like King in terms of production, while the compositions and style have an identity all their own. Maralisa’s soulful and immediately recognizable voice was the perfect choice for the melody. When she and Ariff harmonize, the result is a very unique setting for the melody. The live instruments, especially the guitar courtesy of Josh Starkman and the beautiful backgrounds created by blending Eddie Findeisen’s violin with Alphonso Horne’s trumpet, add a subtle depth to the track. It’s nice to hear a tenor solo on such a groove-heavy electronic track like this, too.

The Wali Sanga

A lot of this track’s appeal comes from it’s production. Though comparisons can be made to other artists, the production here has a style all its own. From the carefully chosen use of reverb and filters to the masterful use of texture and timbre in the drum programming, we have Keyboardist/composer/producer Jesse Fischer to thank for the track’s one of a kind sound. He also did an expert job mixing the track. Fischer, along with Adam Bonomo, played keys on the track as well.

The Wali Sanga is playing at 11pm on Wednesday, March 23 at Rockwood Music Hall. Head over to their website to learn more about this and other dates. In the meantime, scroll down to listen to “Catacombs,” and head over to their Soundcloud for more.


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