Smadj's ethnic fusion continues with TAKE IT AND DRIVE, though he takes a new direction. The compositions here are more spare than his earlier works, as you can hear immediately from "Betty," which you could almost describe as oud-school minimal. The bass and Rokia Traore's vocals on "He Said" stand alone in a spacious atmosphere, a feeling that recurs on "Aurore." "Vogue" begins to fill things out sonically, abstracting and stretching out Dierdre Dubois' ululations and making good use of Talvin Singh's tablas, and "C'est Comme Si C'était Fait..." adds more digital trickery, including some cut-up vocals, to the dub chug. "Drive" puts some Indian vocals whirling in the mix, and Rokia Traore returns for some mild electro on "Fatwords." The Bushmen chanting in "Meeting with the Bushmen" shows how far they've come (thankfully) from Deep Forest's treatment. "Tristran" mixes the instruments with subtle bleeping that that it seems almost natural. On the two bonus tracks, Semtek adds a pleasing house beat to "Fatwords," while Al West make the track almost ambient, incorporating some vinyl crackle and a hardly-there beat. A great album for drives of any sort.