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S. Wood (Manchester, UK)

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The Fall of Light
The Fall of Light
by Niall Williams
Edition: Paperback

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing, 20 Dec 2007
This review is from: The Fall of Light (Paperback)
Delivered with a uniquely refined voice that captivates, transports and reaches deep, this is a magical novel, and perhaps the finest work of fiction I have read to date.

Price: £13.30

5.0 out of 5 stars A New Direction, 7 Jun 2005
This review is from: Resolution (Audio CD)
In my opinion this is one of the best releases in recent years within the "Nu Jazz" genre. The beats are finely produced, the detail of them is wonderful and their influence from jazz and latin music alongside contemporary styles such as hip hop is well blended to make them what they are. There are also lush keys which create the warm feeling emerging from many tracks. These ones are most my cup of tea, but there's groovier and funkier stuff too, such as Ego Riot which was a a well played out single at the relevant nights here in Manchester and I'd imagine elsewhere too. Nova Scota is a lovely melancholy downbeat track, but The Adventure is the favourite for me, where I think the best elements of his production style come together alongside Nancy Jenkinson singing "is this a new direction", and yes, although it's not breakthrough stuff that is completely unique, it is part of an album that is pushing the progression of jazz influenced music.
In some ways the album sounds like simplified 4 hero, but that's an inconclusive observation I'm giving you to get an idea of the sound, this album is no imitation. Overall the general 'feel' of the wins me, just like good jazz music can.

Two Pages
Two Pages
Price: £7.59

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pioneering, 31 Jan 2005
This review is from: Two Pages (Audio CD)
This album marks 4 hero's shift from the sounds of drum and bass (which they were at the fore-front of, basicly inventing the genre), to the sounds of what has come to be known as "nu jazz". It was one of the first nu jazz LPs, and is respected as a classic within the scene, as well as gaining much praise from the wider music community.
As with other styles, there is a lot of crap modern jazz music made for the dance floor or for the "lounge", but this is where the real goods are found. This album is full of the highest quality musicianship: Spectacular, unique atmospheric sounds, original, high quality live and electronic jazzy beats, and beautiful vocals. The layering of sounds is precise and skillfuly compiled, and hense there is so much to appreciate. The production is just unbeatable. Like anything 4 hero have put their hand to, it's in a league of its own, next level, inspired. The beats are just so good, taking influence from modern and older genres, and not just reproducing, but pushing forward, building on and surpassing infuences. I wouldn't say it's a concept album, but there's a definative 4 hero sound established here ("4 hero" is one of a number of guises for Dego and Marc as a duo and individualy, through which they explore other genres) and the album as a whole has a directional feel. There is a specific soulful (in its truest sense) vibe and subject area in exploration within two pages; the tracks work together musicaly and in regards to the lyrical contributions.
The album has a uniquely spiritual feel, the foundations to which are clearly evident in the lyrics and the sounds. Lyricaly the tracks are forward thinking (at times deeply so), positive, reflective and open minded with no meaningless filler rubbish which too often accompanies all genres of dance music. The focus on notions of love and energy that comes accross in the lyrics is inspiring, and accuratly reflected in the instrumentals. This isn't to say the album becomes inaccesible however; all the tracks can be appreciated on the immediate level.
This album is great to listen to chilling on your own or in a social context, passively or mindfully - the immediate sounds are great and make you grin, dancing, head-noding or relaxing; but there is also much detail to listen to on each track, so much to gain from them.
The manner in which 4 hero have produced an album of such musical quality within a framework that comes from and appeals to the spiritual (intentional or not I don't know), makes this a masterpiece.

Molten Beats
Molten Beats
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £19.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get loose, 9 Dec 2002
This review is from: Molten Beats (Audio CD)
Its got dimension and originality, awsome b-lines, and as the title suggests, really flows. Brings out the best of the ram sound. 'Human Future' is a classic in my opinion. This album forces you to move, grin slapped accross face.

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