Kassin + 2 - FuturismoLuaka Bop Records
Final instalment in this +2 series, which has given three Brazilian artists the chance to showcase their musical adventures. The title is slightly misleading as this is very melodic and safe in many ways but it has that added sparkle which takes it into a different sphere albeit in a subtle way. Kassin has played bass with Caetono Veloso and there are comparisons in their approach to music, there's a lot going on but it's not crowded, the music has space to grow. Pick of the tracks for me is 'Samba Machine' a 70's style mish mash. Very good.
Graham Radley, 04/07
Katalyst - Deep ImpressionsBBE
Ashley Anderson, aka Katalyst takes a break from his Space Invadas gig to create a collection of hip-hop beat treats with some futuristic grooves but doesn’t stop there. Indeed, “Deep Impressions” goes in several directions, laying down reggae inspired grooves like “Day into Night” featuring Stephanie McKay to the synth heavy nu wave feel of “The Popcorns” seamlessly. There is also a definite old school hip-hop influence with gems like “Number 1” and “It’s a Blast” that would make a veteran hip-hop enthusiast smile with admiration. He doesn’t stop there for one of the strongest cuts is “Ready to Drop” and not just because it conjures great memories of the Pharcyde classic “Drop”. Katalyst creates a high energy groove with rapper KweenG’s rapid fire lyrics that will have you yearning for the days of shelltop Addidas and Kangols. “Dreaming of You” is a mellow chopped up soul groove that makes for a fitting ending to an entertaining lp. Katalyst proves once again that he is in the upper echelon of producers and beat makers. He’s so adept at utilizing the right samples in the right places, resulting in irresistible head nodding beat treats.
Reg Dancy, 01/12
Katalyst - What's HappeningBBE
Australia's own Ashley Anderson, aka Katalyst returns with his second album. "What's Happening" is a old school hip hop inspired affair with elements of classic soul. Katalyst has recruited some of the most cutting edge rappers and singers from around the globe and blesses everyone with head nodding soulful beats to work with. Steve Spacek, whose voice may remind you of Billy Paul recreates some 70's soul on "How Bout' Us". The slept on Diverse from Chicago shows off his superb flow and word play over the piano laden track "Dedicated". "May Have Been James Brown" is a heavy hitting break beat track with well placed turntable cutting and scratching that gives a nod to the formative years of hip hop. With other notable appearances by Ru C.L, yungun and Stephanie McKay, Katalyst captures the spirit of hip hop's past and brings it up to date with slick production and loads of funky beats to make it feel fresh and new. Definitely worth checking out.
Reg Dancy, 09/08
Kate Doubleday - Belonging - Where are you?Cooper Records
Great new CD from Kate with production from Joe Broughton and a fine collection of material which draws influences from nature (‘Wild Poppies, Eucalyptus, My Sweet Dandelion and Watch The Flowers- with some lovely kora from Daniel Wilkins) using it to invoke imagery of a wider view of life. My pick is probably ‘In Full View’ a loving view of a growing child.
Graham Radley, 06/08
Kay Suzuki - ConsciousnessRound In Motion
Japanese born and London based DJ/producer Kay Suzuki was raised on soul, jazz and funk. It’s quite obvious that he has learned well during those years based on the superb 12 inch recordings he has released since hitting the scene in 2004. “Consciousness” is his first full length release and with the quality of beats, instrumentation and guest vocalists assembled, we hope it’s not his last. There’s much to admire here starting with the global inspired “Music”. The traditional West African vibes presented by Babacarr Dieng’s vocals and percussion work plus Jally Susso’s playing of the Kora, a West African harp are transformed by Kay’s production and remixing. The result is a spirited global dance infused gem that has international appeal. The aptly titled “Journey Sublime” is exactly that, 13 minutes of subliminal funk augmented by the unmistakable sultry voice of Colonel Red. “Move On” is one the highlights, which is saying something. A wicked funky broken beat kicks off for a solid three minutes before the soulful vocals of Duchy takes it to another level. It’s hard not to press repeat for this one. “Something To Say” is another up-tempo beat driven delight enhanced by the vocals of Fatima. I normally would feel short changed when a disc only delivers nine tracks but this one is so enjoyable that it doesn’t matter. This is a very strong debut that will provide immediate satisfaction.
Reg Dancy, 09/10
Kaytronix - Thee AlbumR2
Kaytronix another alias for Kris Klayton, better known as Karizma has mesmerized us with his House music remixes and shows over the years, He also proves that he is a master of the edits as well. "Thee Album" is a catalogue of edits ranging from hip-hop to house and more. He displays a clever approach on "Ain't No", lifting a sample of the First Choice disco classic "Love Thang". The futuristic pulsating beats of "I Say" is another highlight. "Never Go" is an emotive tune laced with hip-hop beats strings and heavenly vocals. With seventeen tracks in all there is much to savor whether you're a DJ looking to drop some beats into your set or simply for your listening pleasure.
Reg Dancy, 03/16
Keith James & Rick Foot - LorcaHurdy Gurdy
Two years in the making the CD features 10 tracks based on the works of Spanish poet and dramatist Federico GarcÃa Lorca plus 'Take This Waltz' by Leonard Cohen (adapted from 'Little Viennese Waltz' by Lorca). Thoughtfully put together with music that acts as a perfect foil to the evocative and passionate words. Very good.
Graham Radley, 09/07
Kenge Kenge - Introducing Kenge KengeWorld Music Network
Kenyan band founded in the early 1990s and celebrating the acoustic roots of 'benga' and keeping the ancient traditions fresh. African dance music at its best using traditional Luo instruments like the oporo (horn) asili (flute) and orutu (one stringed fiddle) in fact the band's name translates as 'fusion of small, exhilarating instruments' which sums things up rather well. Very good.
Graham Radley, 08/07
Kenny Flav Presents Wayne Kounty - Fantasy WorldPremier Cru Music
Next project from the Premier Cru stable has more of a commercial feel than previous projects. That is not a bad thing; I just get the idea that if given enough airplay this will easily make it into the charts and on every radio station. There's the immediate radio anthem 'Fast Life' and 'Snapshots'. Personally my favourites are the soulful 'Superhero', "Consequences and 'Heroin'. For good measure they've brought in guests Amp Fiddler and old skool rapper and film star 'Queen Latifa'. If you're still not convinced, check out the beautifully packaged gatefold double vinyl.
Simon Harrison, 01/06
Kenny Garrett - Beyond The WallNonesuch Records
Kenny Garrett is often mentioned in the same breath as Miles Davis due to the time he spent with Davis' band during the late 80s/early 90s but Garrett has steadily been releasing his own albums as leader since 1984. His latest offering 'Beyond The Wall' features pianist Mulgrew Miller, bassist Robert Leslie Hurst III, drummer Brian Blade and percussionist Ruggerio Boccato along with jazz legends Pharoah Sanders and Bobby Hutcherson on tenor sax and vibes respectively. Together they have created nine stunning compositions rooted in modal and spiritual jazz, taking in eastern sounds along the way. Nedelka Echols adds her vocal tones to 'Qing Wen' 'Kiss To The Skies' and 'Gwoka', all of which are nothing short of brilliant, as is the firing title track 'Beyond The Wall', 'Now' and the haunting 'Realization (Marching Towards The Light)'. Trust me this is a modern classic.
Andy Allen, 01/07