New to my decks!

From: leslie shill (
Date: Sat Mar 09 2002 - 22:25:37 CET

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    I have three new discs that I felt were well worth the effort of reviewing and mentioning here! so here goes:

    1/. Departures - OM Records

    I loved the latest OM Lounge release but this disc which is scheduled for release in March, is by far my favourite of OM's releases to date and I can only recommend it highly! The first track is from Fragment Orchestra, a name I do not know and it is lovely! A dreamy track with very cool sax line opens over a swinging kind of rhythm and it eases you into the disc. Once the piece becomes more fully evolved it sails over a gentle 2-step motif with a flute and guitar extending the idea expressed by the sax and taking the track to a whole other level so that when the vocal comes in with it's global ring you can only float with it. I really love this sort of music and I would buy the album for this track alone. There is enough of a jazzy feel to qualify the track for me and then the filigree has this almost otherworldly quality and cross-cultural connections that are what I look for! By the time the sax re-appeared the first time I heard this, I was well into it! The next track, from the Joakim Lone Octet, starts off on a strong rhythmic pulse and it grows from there. Some very nice percussion adds the global feel and the flute on this track is a nice texture over the solidly electronic leanings and feel of the drum tracks. Okay, so I would buy the album just for this track as well so it's a winner for me and I recommend it to anyone who wants their music laced with worldly grooves and textures. The sub-title is "Global expeditions in nu-jazz + Broken beats" and that sums the album up definitively. The third track is a new Jazzanova number "Coffee Talk", need I say more? I won't bore you with more detail from each track but let me add that this will be on my decks for some time and I know not a few of you listees will dig on this big-time, I know I am and my listeners and dancers are going to be getting earfuls of this disc! This is the sort of disc that makes the DJ life so very sweet and rewarding, go get it now.
    2/. Joseph Malik - Diverse - Compost Records

    Now here comes Compost with a real zag to go with their usual zig! Sweet vocals over some great production makes this a disc worth having. Using some of the tricks of the trade in production techniques but still sticking to the ultimate power of what a good song is all about, this a smooth collection of stuff and more power to Compost for broadening their (and OUR!) horizons. Covering the spectrum from blues to tribal songs from Malik's Ibo background, the album makes very nice use of programming as an integral part of songs, not just as a basis for dance music, kudos to arranger and producer for bringing the right sort of meld to Malik's songs! For me the big tracks are "Futuristica" which comes to life over a nice Latin sort of groove while retaining a smoothly jazzy feel and "I Don't Want", a track that kicks the vocal intro to life over silky drum and percussion tracks and then it really grows rhythmically. This might not be for everyone but I still give it a big thumbs up!
    3/. Telefuzz - Sleep - Upstairs/Nettwerk

    Now that I have had a few days to really listen to this disc and to absorb it into my musical mind, I have to say it keeps growing on me and every listen brings some cool surprises and revelations. Don Verbrilli, in his guise as Telefuzz, wins serious kudos from me (at least!) for his work here. The arrangements are truly sweet and the sampling is first rate and when these are texturized and layered as they are here they make for one of the best albums I have heard in a long time. Coupled with "departures" (reviewed above!) I could settle for this being one of my Desert Island Disc choices and I think anyone who has leanings toward acid-jazz is going to dig on this! The first track, "Hindenburg", starts the proceedings off in fine style with beautiful orchestration and textures layered over a distinctive and well-produced rhythm track, the last minute-and-a-half are almost a track on their own and they end the piece on a cool note. As soon as I got the Sleep promo, which was 4 tracks on vinyl, I knew this was some good stuff and the CD does not disappoint me at all! Any DJ who spends time in the downtempo zone that so many of us really love, is going to want this disc in their collection. "Chem-trails", the second track works very well for me with a more insistent and faster tempo than the 1st but the orchestration and arranging continues as it does over the entire disc. For me it is the attention that Telefuzz pays to these details that ultimately broadens the appeal of an already great album. Orchestration is a vital part of music that makes a broader statement than purely danceable electronica (for me at any rate) and I applaud the producers of music that pays heed to this aspect of their craft. Telefuzz uses spoken-word samples in a distinctive and interesting way and as someone who loves language, I love these sorts of textures in the more downtempo and ambient stuff I am listening to and spinning for my audiences, both on the air and live! "The Needle and The Homage Done" begins with an out there kind of verbal sample and then it segues into a true example of the art of modern electronic music! The track has excellent rhythmic ideas and when the bass-line finally kicks in it's hard not to want to move your body. Seeing as I happen to believe that modern music truly excels over good bass ideas this track is naturally a winner for me but listen to it yourself and see what you think. Many musical ideas are expressed over the course of the disc and there are bows to dub, jazz, hip-hop and many more trends in modern electronica.

    I love all three of the discs I mention here, but the first and the last are definitely well up on my list of discs to which I can easily wallow with in the sea of superlative descriptions and I would love to hear back from listees on their opinions of any of these three.

    peace and all

    the leslie/The Power of Sound

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