Monday, 15 February 2010

Reeno - The Real Elektrofunk - 2010

When I was approached about this CD I was very, very, very unsure as to whether I would like it...described as Electro I had nightmare memories of Planet Rock, breakdancing, body popping, The Jonzun Crew and Afrika Bambaata...all things that totally left me cold, bewildered and scratching my head. Actually, bewildered is a pseudo-permanent state for me so that wasn't too much of an issue! However, on hearing the CD I have to say that I was absolutely delighted with what I heard! Any fears I had were totally unfounded. If you LOVED the Electro-Soul of the likes of The System, or even Kashif, back in the early-mid 1980s then this set will be just what the doctor ordered. I have been loathed to turn this CD off, and the volume has been HIGH! The funk is hard, subtly dark in places and extremely soulful in others. The man behind this is a real master of his craft, in the same way that Cool Million;'s Rob Hardt and Frank Ryle are on top of their game. It's producers such as James Reeno that make today's scene so varied, vibrant and colourful. It ids James Reeno who had a hand in the recently reviewed First Touch if that doesn't excite you then nothing will!

The set starts in a real kick-ass fashion with the superb dancer, "Dirty Talk"...great to hear the style of 1983 dancer again with proper female vocals. It does my soul a lot of good to hear such slamming beats with a supremely feel-good flavour. Who wants today's RnB mainstream drivel when there is stuff out there with heart, soul and real THUMP!!! A real killer, dear readers is "I Luv U" which appears in two awesome is an original mix which is more than enough to sate anyone's appetite...Zena Kitt's vocals are superb - a real powerhouse songstress and it's on the Tom Moulton mix where she comes into her own...the Great remixer's magic is woven yet again...both songs a real and true pleasure to listen to. Fans of Kashif's uptempo efforts will no doubly appreciate the sheer 80s brilliance of "Funkulation". The freaky keys are almost George Clinton or Zapp and this so makes my heart sing! happy days are here again!

"So Funky" seriously kicks butt and the basspins will tremble nicely. There are a few nods to the 80s soulsmiths Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis on here with covers of Janet Jackson's career highlighting "Funny How Time Flies (When You're Having Fun)" from 1986's "Control" album, and "Even When You Sleep" by the sorely missed SOS Band...again from 1986 and their "Sands Of Time" album. These are good and break the beatier efforts up magnificently, adding light and shade. It's the dancers, though, that make this CD work and I cannot stress enough how superb this set is. Do not be put off by the word electro - I am no fan of that sort of genre yet I adore this CD. James Reeno is a super-talent and deserves greater exposure. Let's hope this CD will start him off on something huge as he deserves it!

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe