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4.0 out of 5 stars Same same but different... and better., 8 April 2012
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This review is from: Take From Me (Audio CD)
First of all I have to declare that I work with another band that are on the same label as Dojo Cuts. But anyway.

This record came out at the same time as the new Lee Fields album, and I know a lot more people will have bought Faithful Man, but I can say I've got more out of the Dojo jam that Lee's. The Expressions record is just a little confused about what it's musical intention is and so there's an extraneous feel to it, whereas Dojo Cuts have really focussed their sound and built on the understated style of the last album. I bought this on download to see how Record Kicks, which is essentially a vinyls label, approach the modern aspects of the music industry. I'm not a tech guy and I found it pretty easy and the digi was available in FLAC, mp3 and other useful formats, so that's a thumbs up there apart from the money being processed by paypal which will annoy our Wikileaks brothers. (You don't need a paypal account though.)

The drumming patterns are funky and add plenty of busyness to the sound, and so are perfectly complimented by the almost Hip Hop/RnB basslines which funk in and out allowing the backing track plenty of breathing space, letting you take in the snare's ghostnotes for example. Sax and trumpet never split a note, never hang around too long. They're always bang on with fluid hooks, and that's important as it's only them and Roxie who are making the real melodic statements here. The guitar can be soulful, and it can be funky depending on what's needed. For me, the organ's a little low in the mix but that's not the band's fault. And for the first listen or two, you sort of wish it would scream around a little more, but that's the point when you really start to appreciate the dynamism if the Dojo sound. It's all about a concise approach to a genre that can get showy and avant-garde, and that's why they sound so fresh compared to the over-jazzed, JTQ style funk bands that still take up a lot of shelf space in the shop.

As for Roxie Ray, she's just great on this thing. She's soft in places, hard in others, vulnerable sometimes. On the title track, she's resigned and emotional. She starts out soft and the band lay it down calmly, but then the skill of her melodic narrative starts to get you as we hit the second verse and she breaks the soul convention of outright shouting, trading it in for wailing, out of tune through most of the verse. The band fall in with her and we all go into the deep place with them. It doesn't have to be in tune to be right. It's a real joint, with proper songwriting. And that's the Dojo way, there's no shouting, there's no Hammond solo's, there's no sprinting basslines, there's just none of the silly stuff that I think gives the genre it's "retro" or "revivalist" tags in the mainstream. It's modern. It's succinct. It's accessible. It's classy. It's soul soul soul.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brlliant deep soul, 19 April 2012
This review is from: Take From Me (Audio CD)
A brlliant deep soul LP from Dojo Cuts. Miss Roxie Ray is simply superb and all the tracks are winners. It also includes a brilliant cover of JB&Marva Whitney - What do I have to do. Heavily recommended from me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dojo Cuts, 16 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Take From Me (Audio CD)
Great Australian band. The singer (Roxie Ray) reminded me of Amy Winehouse a little bit. It has a 60s feel to it.
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Take From Me [Explicit]
Take From Me [Explicit] by Dojo Cuts feat. Roxie Ray
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