Wednesday, 5 May 2010

SK Radicals - Urban Eclectiks - 2010 - Freestyle records

This is a fruity little number, deftly mixing funky soul, breakbeat flavours as well as straight ahead Jazz vibes. It's contemporary, hip and totally in the Freestyle groove. I LOVE this set for many reasons. I like light and shade, variety and something that makes you actually stop and listen. The set isn't challenging in any negative way, but it is purposeful, strident and rooted in quality. Had the set been a one-tracker based on the first song alone then i would have to buy it for that track alone! This track in question is "Troubled Times", a low-down dirty little funk number which sounds, vocally, like Remy Shand. This is a real gem of a track and since unwrapping the Cd have played it again, again, again and again. The rumbling bass, sturdy beats and muted sax ride atop a haunting vibes backdrop and the result is sheer Y2K quality. Once we get through this gem we get a blinding Jazz track that is so great that it would not be out of place on a Schema compilation. Upright bass, flute, horns and flute conspire madly and spin your senses around in a glorious fashion - vocalist Susan Allotey drops her chops in a really strong Eve Cornelius mode! Once we are ensconced in this vibe the rhythm swiftly adopts an Afro-Cuban flavour...phenomenal.

Fans of 4Hero should warm quickly to the quirky broken beat sound of "Move On", and the sultry vocals of Susan Allotey delight us yet again. The vibe owes a lot to it's spacey 1970s Lonnie Liston-Smith type of synths. The dreamy keys are also noteworthy and if these tracks sound as if they're up your alley then hold your horses as there's more. If vibes are your bag and spacey moog styles then you are going to fall over yourself to hit the repeat button on "That Obscure Object Of My Desire". The melody is almost there with Eddie Russ' £See The Light" and the free sax and warm keys simply melt over the funky keys. It's heaven, condensed into three minutes thirty-seven seconds! More can be found on "Indifference Is The Enemy Of Love". How true that is, and if many of us realise that sooner or later maybe our lives would not so radically have changed! "Free Yourself" cannot be faulted either, the deep resonant keys are complimented by a racy beat and funky early 70s keys. One could be forgiven for thinking that we'd wandered into Jamiroquai's superb "A Funk Odyssey" for a moment! The rest of the CD simply begs similar plaudits and attention. I cannot fault this set and I also urge you to check out the KILLER Bennson remix of their"No I Can Do" which is featured on the "Fresh Out The Box" compilation. ESSENTIAL funky Soul-Jazz.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

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