on 23 October 2007
This is the album Will Holland has been threatening to make since the first QSO offering...but it is very different in feel. Now apparently living in Colombia, he has manned his band with dyed-in-the-wool authentic latin musicians: Peruvian pianist Alfredo Linares, Kabir from Panama City, Ricky Staple fron San Juan, Puerto Rico, Javier Rivera and Hector Sotomeyer from the US. Consequently, there is an energetic funky/jazzy/latin flava to most of these tunes, which are guaranteed dancefloor fillers....upbeat and very danceable, the band seem to meld these funk and latin elements very naturally...and there is some superb percussion playing here too...especially on Regi Bugaloo...not forgetting the thumb piano solo on track 11!
For fans of old school QSO, there is the odd Tru-Thoughtsy funky piece too.
This is a consistent album, and I have to say that the quality of the sound is a step up from the previous QSO recordings, which were harsh sounding to my ears in spite of (because of?) the analogue studio used.
Criticisms? It does sound quite different to previous Quantic and QSO offerings, and has a retro feel...so it may well alienate as many fans as it wins.
...but excuse me...cant help it... i'm just off to listen again. ****1/2
on 20 October 2007
Being a follower of Will Holland's work i think that this is his best so far.If you like soul, funk, jazz or/and latin then you're going to love this album. Musicianship is superb with great horns and percussion making the listening (or dancing) of it a delightful experience.
It's stuck in my CD player for several days now and i can't find a dull moment in it.My favourite tracks are (the funky) "Panama City" (i love the percussion part towards the end), "Regi Bugalu" (Boogaloo of course), "Lead Us To The End","San Sebastian Strut" but i repeat there is no bad track here.
I said too much.Get it NOW.
Boy this really is good. Who said Englishmen can't be funky? I'm a big fan of Will Holland's work but he's raised the bar another few nothches with this one. "The music given birth here is Tropical, Funky and Heavy." - there you are, a perfect summation in the artist's own words -lifted from the inlay cover.
"Tropidelico," is a stunning hark back to the glory days of Central American music. Holland's amazing ear and the way he carefully crafts each composition without ever resorting to clutter marks him out as a real talent. Malcolm Catto deserves even more plaudits for his stunning drumming on this album, it's difficult to believe it's all done from a studio in Hackney.
A little piano roll ushers in the snaking trumpet on the title track and we're in business. I love the bounciness and the cheeky guitar on, "Melodious wayfarer," - you won't sit down when you hear that one.
Another favourite is the Cumbia Soul of, "San Sebastian strut," with it's slightly dark, mysterious horn section. You can feel the proximity to Africa with the subtle guitar at the start of Marrakech - very Orchestra Boabab. "Lead us to the end," a little soul departure from the rest of the album really works after a few listens. The only dud on this is,"She did what," feat. J-Live - the type of easy-listening hip-hop I personally just can't stand. The rest my dear Watson is pure perfection.
Will it reach the wide audience it deserves?
on 20 October 2007
I too am a Quantic fan (yes, biased) and their albums have been a great spring-board for me in discovering all sorts of wonderful goodies like Alice Russell and Sharon Jones, amongst others.
I love that raw, earthy funk stuff and this is just so fantastic with heaps of percussion, drums, horns and groove...keeps me a-dancing in my lounge room all night long!