Sunday, 25 January 2009

Total Contrast - Total Contrast 2008 / 1985 – Vinyl Masterpiece

This is a classy, classy album from UK act Total Contrast. Released in 1985 and produced by the super-talented Steve Harvey, I'm sure you'll agree that this is a great album and lovely for it to be reissues, again, on CD. This was a rare album to find on CD, but this is more worthwhile as it contains bonus tracks – remixes and singles which the original CD did not contain. The sound that Steve creates here is very American and paved the way to his living and working in the US in the late 80s. Not sure what the guys are doing now BUT this superb album is a testament to their talent. For me, every single track is worthy of praise. Mainly uptempo and bubbly, this is a powerfully uplifting, feel-good album and has been with me in my car on many a trip. “Hit And Run” still kicks backside, as does the thumping synthy “The River” - a track that sounds very much influenced by The System. It has shades, too, of Steve Harvey's very own “Tonight” single too – I wish someone would get that on a compilation!

The downtempo, string laden “Where Is Love” offers contrast but not as superior to the real KILLER on here which, for my moneys worth is “Sunshine”. Such a superb, summery track and one that has not aged a second. Totally brilliant and as good in 2009 as it was in 1985. Actually, this reminds me a lot of what Loose Ends were creating at the time. Now there's another quality UK group! “How many Reasons” is a strong midtempo cut, as is the single release, “Takes A Little Time”. This was given a really strong remix in the US and – yes – it's also contained on here. Simply marvellous. I prefer the dance remix of “What You Gonna Do About It” and that's here, as is the their great single from 1983 “Be With You Tonight”. This is a classy release – obviously taken from the source tapes and mastered properly, time and effort have been taken on this. Do not overlook this classy UK soul from 1985.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

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