I have to admit that I totally misjudged what kind of music Atlas Maior played based on the cover. Just based on the logo I figured they were some sort of post-hardcore group but about five seconds into their album Keyif I was proven wrong as they are just about as far away from my expectations as humanly possible. Rather than screaming at the top of their lungs, these guys take jazz structures and then accentuate them with Middle Eastern and Latin influences. The Keyif EP as a result is a free sounding jazz record that feels as if it wandered from desert to carnivale.
About the worst thing you can say about Keyif is its unfortunate length. The record is so short and just as you get into the soundworld Atlas Maior create it’s all over. But it’s worth savoring what we’re given and this quartet are such excellent musicians and the atmospheric worlds they create are as expansive and exploratory as they are brilliant. From ridiculous sax runs to Middle Eastern ambiance and Latin grooves Keyif is an impressive effort that does everything but disappoint.