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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Lab Experiments Vol. 2 / Cookin On 3 Burners

Cookin On 3 Burners - Lab Experiments Vol. 2

Soul Messin'

"Lab Experiments Vol.2 picks up where the gritty soul of Vol.1 left off. Organist Jake Mason, guitarist Dan West and others collaborate on a number of smoking tunes with grooves to make you move. "The Jump Off" sets the disc in motion with Mason's sizzling organ riffs and West's thumping guitar licks. Up and coming vocalist Kaiit keeps the fire burning on "Warning" while Fallon Williams gritty vocals punctuate "Force Of Nature". The bands slows down the pace nice and easy on the laid back "Sunday Mumma" but this is mostly a get up and boogie affair. With notable contributions from mainstay Kylie Audist and Simon Burke, this release marks another winner from the Melbourne funk and soul group.

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Reg Dancy, 12/18

Lost / Cool Calm Pete

Cool Calm Pete - Lost

Definitive Jux

'Lost' was released in USA in 2004 and you can see why Definitive Jux has signed it for distribution in Europe. This has been getting some serious attention and is certainly one of the more intelligent Hip Hop albums around at the moment. Cool Calm Pete is one force to be reckoned with his quirky, yet enjoyable lyrics: when was the last time you heard a song about dental hygiene sound so good -the laid-back beats, catchy hooks and the now standard cartoon snippets, which just about every Hip Hop album features, thanks to the influences of Madlib and MF Doom. I hope he'll be back with more of the same, very soon.

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Simon Harrison, 03/06

Time Has Come / Cosmic Groove Orchestra

Cosmic Groove Orchestra - Time Has Come

Perfect Toy Records

 Perfect Toy records are demonstrating that they have an ear for quality straight ahead jazz. With the debut of The Cosmic Groove Orchestra’s “Time Has Come”, they display their spiritual side as well. “Time Has Come” is a melodic collection of spiritual sublime jazz that would make Alice Coltrane proud. Alice receives mention here not only for the wonderful work on harp by Kathrin Pechlof but for the meditative serene soundscapes the band creates on each track. Pechlof’s playing blends in perfectly with Jerker Kluge’s work on electric bass on “Walzer For LLse Proskauer”. I’m not sure who’s playing the violin on this track but they sound great nonetheless. “Shelter” is another gem due to the superb work by Kluge once again on electric bass. Matthias Gmelin is tremendous throughout on drums but on “You Know, You Know” his playing really stands out. Overall this is a solid record that you can certainly embrace from start to finish. The Cosmic Groove Orchestra has skillfully created a record that will relax your mind and soothe your soul.

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Reg Dancy, 06/10

Stop Space Return / Crazy P

Crazy P - Stop Space Return

20:20 Vision

Crazy P have been established in the dance music space for quite some time now (albeit with a slightly more risqué and genital inspired moniker) and, although their oeuvre undoubtedly includes some top quality 12 inches and remixes, when it comes to their albums I have, on occasion, been left a touch under whelmed. So, upon hearing the opening salvo of “Stop Space Return”, the title track of this (their fourth) album, I was convinced that the tide must have turned and that we were on to a real winner here. “Stop Space Return” is a tough, dirty, disco-squelcher with a perfectly executed vocal from Danielle Moore (now a permanent member of the band), just choc full of attitude and primed for the dance floor. This, however, is the high point and it all goes slightly weird from here on in. “Caught Up” and “Love on the Line”, for example, just seem to be a bit ‘cheesy Saturday night dance anthem’, whilst some of the other songs appear to be aiming for Scissor Sisters-esque pop territory. Granted, this is not necessarily a bad thing and the record is certainly more commercially viable as a result, but just not quite what I was expecting or hoping for.

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Tom Breslin, 11/08

Cro-Magnon / Cro-Magnon

Cro-Magnon - Cro-Magnon

Jazzy Sport Records

Jazzy Sport has been mostly associated with hiphop projects, and let thier producers dip their toes in other styles. Cro-Magnon stood out because they went for all things disco, perfectly suited to the dj sets of Greg Wilson, Maurice Fulton, DJ Harvey, Idjut Boys, to name a new. There is the style of disco you might expect but also thrown in there are influences of funk, reggae and soul. Excited? you should be.

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Simon Harrison, 09/06

Great Triangle / Cro-Magnon

Cro-Magnon - Great Triangle

Lastrum Records

Cro-Magnon's 'Great Triangle' continues the cosmic disco vibe established on their self titled debut album but touches on other elements along the way to create a far stronger set throughout. The fusion/boogie gems such as 'La Fusion' and 'New Horizon', the down-tempo 'Eclipse' with its rock steady bass line, the Acid House influenced 'Take Me Higher' and the Balearic 'Keep Me Satisfied' all sound good to these ears. Even better though is the monster jazz-funk workout 'Chase After The Storm' which features Soil & Pimp Sessions' Tabu Zombie and Motoharu on trumpet and sax respectively. Think Lonnie Liston Smith's 'Expansions' and you won't be far off the mark!

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Andy Allen, 08/07

Lowdown / Crowd Company

Crowd Company - Lowdown

Vintage League Music

"Lowdown" is the third full length album from Crowd Company. The UK funk & soul band return with a high energy eleven track release certain to grip your hips and move your feet. Among the highlights are "Stories", armed with soaring horns, sultry vocals and an irresistible groove that pushes the entire band. "You Ain't Ready" is another heater, slightly slower in tempo but a floor burner nonetheless. "Change Your Mind" is slowing burning soul that will inspire you to dim the lights and hold someone tight. Produced by Alan Evans (Soulive), a talented drummer who knows a thing or two about rhythm and groove. In a crowded (no pun intended) funk and soul field, Crowd Company is proving they can hang with the best of them. This potent release is evidence of that.

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Reg Dancy, 03/20

Forgotten Ones / Culross Close

Culross Close - Forgotten Ones

Esencia Records

Anthony Kieron, better known as K15 is firmly entrenched as a premiere producer of soul and house. With his London based quintet Culross Close he's starting to stretch out as a musician as well. The six track ep "Forgotten Ones" is a myriad of Cosmic compositions that transcend genres. The disc begins with the heavenly keys of "Fractured" a soothing intro that's a precursor for what lies ahead. The title track, one of the highlights here is filled with blissful vocal harmonies. Kieron's rhythmic rhodes are complimented by enchanting cymbals from drummer May Goode. "The Tiniest Lights Still Shine" is another winner. It's an infectious tune with a bass n drum groove with Nathaniel Jiddu's spacey moog synths on top of it. This is an inspiring and imaginative piece of work that will transport you to a spiritual mental space. The only quibble is there's only twenty five minutes of music here but essential listening nonetheless. We've come to expect nothing less than from Kieron and this is no exception.

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Reg Dancy, 03/19

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