With a hot-asphalt delivery that sounds like she could be the offspring of Janis Joplin and Joe Cocker, Fiona Renshaw spins tales of mourned love and unrequited desire that range from quiet lament to palpable anger. "Through the Day" stands out, as Renshaw's cloudy river of a voice is offset by plaintive, soulful synth lines in one of the few tracks that don't follow a strictly acoustic blueprint (is this what broken folk sounds like?). Read more »
With all that retrogressive bootleg/mash-up crap still clogging up the culture, surely there's room for an original disco-breaks jam that folds in old-school house piano chords, the "Good Times" string stab, and Shalamar's "Make That Move"? Or have we lost our souls in easy-peasy cut 'n' paste-ism? If ya don't feel the a-side, flip for "Steady Fire"'s bass-heavy, ragga-infused ska/breakstep opus. Murder tune! Read more »
With 16 tracks and 28 MP3s spanning two CDs, this compilation doubles as not only a Novamute "state of the union" overview, but also as a statement on disunion. Compiling tracks mostly previously released on vinyl while conversely indicating a future of digital in/digital out (contrary to many labels), Novamute here offers not only mirrored MP3s, but exclusive MP3s. Alongside crisp configurations of post-industrial/electro/acid (house) sounds by Tim Wright, Umek, S.I. Read more »
While the dialogue samples on this album will give you an idea of the issues being touched on-magic, technology, and their intersections and oppositions-the music itself pushes the theme forward even more. Take "Destruction": the pounding drums conjure images of machines at work, raucously efficient, while the melodic samples give the rhythm an ethereal feel. The overall effect is aggressive but spiritual. For vocals, Tajai of Souls of Mischief swings through to drop some very impressive rhymes, and Goapele lends her pipes to a chorus as well. Read more »
Virginia's given us producers like Timba, Neptunes and even Premier (born in Norfolk, baby), and your boy Nottz stands tall among 'em. This time (unlike last year's "Don't Wanna Give That Up"), his MC DMP finds his mark with the compelling ghetto-existentialist "Life Ain't Sweet;" "'Where was the 'hood when my stomach was growlin'" indeed. The gorgeous soul vocal on the chorus doesn't hurt a bit, nor does the flipside's bold and disciplined "Uncutt Raw." This slab could portend big thangs for these cats. Read more »
Unlike compilations that just sample three or four ?ber-famous Brazilian artists, BB4 encompasses a wider range of Brazilian music. Paz E "Arroz," for example, takes samba's hip-shaking feel and puts it into pop; Brazilian musical stalwart Jorge Ben originally recorded the song in the '70s. The Sonia Rosa/Yuji Ohno version of "Casa Forte," often recorded and usually horn-driven, strips the songs down and ups the jazz percussion. Star DJ Marky shows up, too, working with XRS to remix an excellent Ive Mendes song. Read more »
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