Music Reviews

Show: New reviews | Artists beginning with: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0-9 | Compilations
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Suite Shop Reworks / Ambient Jazz Emsemble

Ambient Jazz Emsemble - Suite Shop Reworks

Here and Now Recordings

Ambient Jazz Ensemble is composer/producer Colin Baldry. "Suite Shop Reworks" flips the script on his original release "Suite Shop", which was a blissful collection of ambient jazz compositions. "Reworks" however is ambient jazz with a splash of house and electronica filled with atmospheric vibes. The A-list of remixers on board capture the spirit of the original while adding their own signature touch. Cardiac Club contributes on "The Journey" filled with thunderous drums and blazing sax as well as the four to the floor house inspired "Vibrations". The AJE remix of "Jazzface" is an hypnotic cinematic gem. Dylan Colby adds a touch of drum n bass on "Waiting For Space". Veteran mixer George Schilling, whose credits include everyone from Coldcut to Blur and New Radicals handles the majority of the mixing duties here and performs his customary superb work. Baldry and company's alternate take adds wings to an already impressive record. Climb aboard and enjoy the ride.

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Reg Dancy, 06/15

New Birth / Ammoncontact

Ammoncontact - New Birth

Ninja Tune

Carlos Niño is proving a very busy man at the moment This is his second Ammoncontact album in only six months and he's also behind such quality projects like Build An Ark and Dwight Trible. Yes that's a serious amount of music to release in a short space of time but this just proves how talented Niño is. Here we have 10 instrumental tracks spread over two slabs of vinyl; some labels could do with learning from this. You can hear some of Niño's influences from jazz to funk and soul all within the heavy grooved based production, with basslines that shake your boots. As a bonus there is the excellent Build An Ark "Temple Jam" that featured on the Dublab Presents In The Loop 2 12" from earlier in the year. It's worth it for that track alone.

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Simon Harrison, 06/05

The Foley Room / Amon Tobin

Amon Tobin - The Foley Room

Ninja Tune

Ninja Tune have been very busy of late but it's one label over the years that constantly stick to what they are good at and that's releasing quality music. OK not everything maybe your thing but if you give your attention, everything is nothing short of excellent. Amon Tobin is one such artist who may not sell albums by the truckload but he does make good quality and well produced music. Not many labels would have the balls to release this album but that's one of the things Ninja does well. I've been struggling to put pen to paper and describe "The Foley Room" but it's somewhere between Dimlite, Matthew Herbert and The Cinematic Orchestra. If the thought of that has you slavering at the mouth, you will thoroughly enjoy this ace soundtrack. There may be sections where you scratch your head but keep going because it'll all make sense once you reach the final track.

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Simon Harrison, 02/07

Afro Strut / Amp Fiddler

Amp Fiddler - Afro Strut

Genuine Records

After much anticipation Amp Fiddler's sophomore set is finally with us. 'Right Where You Are', 'Faith' and 'Dope' from the limited edition 10"s are all included on the vinyl but unfortunately the latter is omitted from the CD version. On first listen it's these tracks that standout but by the second play it becomes apparent there are more gems contained within. 'Ridin'', an uplifting Philly disco influenced track is certainly one of the highlights for me along with the old school stepper 'Heaven' featuring Stephanie McKay and 'Hustle' a stunning sensual Marvin-esque piece with strings provided by Larry Gold.

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Andy Allen, 09/06

Motor City Booty / Amp Fiddler

Amp Fiddler - Motor City Booty

Midnight Riot

Detroit native and veteran funkmaster Amp Fiddler has been a pioneer in the Motor City for over twenty years. The keyboardist/producer's resume includes a ten year stint in George Clinton's band as well as working with everyone from Moodyman to Maxwell. Released on Yam Who?'s Midnight Riot label, "Motor City Booty" is a 11 track dance floor burner that showcases his distinctive sound of formulaic funk and soul.  Among the highlights are "Superficial" filled with soulful dance grooves peppered with funky keys and percussion. "Soul Fly Pt. 1" is vintage 60s soul while Pt. 2 is a pulsating party house groove. Both versions as well as other tracks here feature the sultry vocal trio Dames Brown as well as contributions from Nico Redd and Alena. Fiddler's myriad of infectious grooves are synonymous with the Detroit sound and ensures you'll have a funky good time throughout this enjoyable disc.

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Reg Dancy, 11/16

Being A Grown Up Sure Is Complicated / Amycanbe

Amycanbe - Being A Grown Up Sure Is Complicated

Dancing Turtle Records

Great debut album from this group of Francesca Amati (vocals) Mattia Mercuriali (guitar) Marco Trinchillo (acoustic guitar/drums) and Paolo Gradari (trumpet/guitar/keys) from Ravenna in north eastern Italy. The pointers/influences are Bjork, Aphex Twin and Belle & Sebastien with folk at the core but this is music that evolves beautifully in its own chilled world.

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Graham Radley, 09/07

Fire Flower / Ananda Project

Ananda Project - Fire Flower

Nite Grooves

Chris Brann's Ananda Project follow up their 'Fire Flower' EP from a few months back with a full length album packed full of deep house flavours. Included from the EP are the blissful 'Into The Sunrise' which is underpinned by subtle Latin rhythms and features Terrance Downs on vocals and the outstanding 'Remember When [The Wind Destroyed Our Village]', an intense atmospheric instrumental with a popping bass line, dirty keys and haunting wind effects. 'Time And Space' again fronted by Terrance Downs is a fine example of uplifting soulfulness but also check the Latin jazz dancer 'Free Me' and 'Where The Music Takes You', a superb slice of synth laden disco-boogie. Classic house music!

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Andy Allen, 09/07

We Are To Answer / Ancient Astronauts

Ancient Astronauts - We Are To Answer

ESL Music

Ancient Astronauts are Kabanjak and Dogu from Cologne, they are heavily influenced by funky hip-hop from the nineties but they add in Afro, reggae and dope beats mixed into a spacebeats shake up. There really is a big mixture going on here with favourites including Tippa Irie toasting on ‘All Of The Things You Do’ and The Pharcyde breezing through ‘Classic’. Great stuff. 

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Graham Radley, 08/09

The Calm In The Turbulence / Andre Zimma

Andre Zimma - The Calm In The Turbulence

Swedish Brandy

Daniel Paul and Hans Schaaf (DJ Honesty) are the group known as Andre Zimma. You may be more familiar with them as the duo known as Slope. The two DJs have been producing an eclectic array of house, broken beat and hip hop tracks for a number of years and have compiled a strong collection of 12 inches and lps on the Sonar Kollektiv label.  Their latest project on Swedish Brandy is an assortment of down-tempo jazz flavored soul grooves and tasty house tracks enhanced by an impressive lineup of musicians. One of the notable contributors is the duo Amraah8, they’re featured on 2 tracks here plus an alternate take for each. “Aqua” is a gorgeous down-tempo electronic soul gem that features singer Clover, whose vocals blessed the unforgettable Deyampert’s “Heard Him First”. “Colors” is an ethereal slow grinding groove highlighted by the lust filled poetry of Channeng. I’m partial to the Comfort Fit remix but the original is enjoyable as well. There are many more highlights such as “Wicked Games”, featuring the whispery voice and the ambient electronic sounds of Delhia De France. In addition, there several solid soulful house tracks here to savor as well.  “Mermaids Bay” is an irresistible house track that will have you swept away by the violin soloing and the lush strings. “M.U.S.I.C.” is another thumpin track seasoned with a samba beat and sweet tasting horns to match. It’s hard to pack seventeen songs into a disc that while maintaining a level of excellence but that’s exactly what we have here. Wow, this is one strong record with grooves for every mood and is certain to provide definite satisfaction.

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Reg Dancy, 05/11

The Paralian / Andrew Wasylyk

Andrew Wasylyk - The Paralian

Athens Of The North

Andrew Mitchell aka Andrew Wasylyk is a multi-instrumentalist. "The Paralian" is a blend of ambient jazz and british folk soundscapes. While in Arbroath Scotland for an extended residency Wasylyk came in touch with a 19th century Erard Grecian harp. Along with a grand piano on hand he wrote a number of tunes to reflect the tranquility of the harbor town. "Greendrive #2" is a dreamy tune that evokes images of the east coast of Scotland. "Welter In The Haar" is a highlight that combines blissful Fender Rhodes and strings.  "Adrift Below A Constellation" features soft brass rhythms as well as Wasylyk's warm vocals. Arbroath sounds like the place to escape from all the noise and this is the ideal soundtrack to bring along with you.

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Reg Dancy, 04/19

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