Rapid Fire Reviews: Gilles Peterson, Factor, & Dr. Quandary

Gilles Peterson Presents: Havana Cultura Remixed
Brownswood Recordings: 2010
Purchase on Amazon

Since the mid-80’s, London’s Gilles Peterson has been making a profound mark in the music industry on just about every level. One of his latest endeavor is Brownswood Recordings, a label where his coveted Havan Cultura Band have decided to enlist some of the world’s finest artists to remix their New Cuba Sound album. Included on that list of artists are; MJ Cole, 4hero, Louie Vega, Carl Cox, Rainer Trüby, Gotan Project’s Philippe Cohen Solal, and more. Achieving high levels of latin club intensity, this is certainly an album worthy of getting just about any individuals out of their seats and on the dance floor. While there are certainly moments of the album that sound rather generic, we do get a wide array of genres portrayed throughout. Songs like “Afrodisia (Rainer Trueby Remix)” exemplify a heavy house influence, while “Roforofo Fight (Louie Vega’s EOL Mix)” is favored in the realm of jazz. The list continues on into electronic, salsa, and just about every other category of music you can think of, leading to a wonderful collection of diverse remixes of an already masterful work from the Havana Cultura Band. – David Reyneke

4 out of 5
[audio:http://potholesinmyblog.flywheelsites.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Gilles-Petersons-Havana-Cultura-Band-Arroz-Con-Pollo-Solal-_Soy-Cuba_-Remix.mp3|titles=Havana Cultura Band – “Arroz Con Pollo” (Solal “Soy Cuba” Remix)]

Factor – Lawson Graham
Fake Four Inc: 2010
Purchase on Amazon

While people’s opinions on Factor may vary, it is undeniable that he is somewhat spearheading a new movement in hip-hop. Let’s call it the “post-Def-Jux” era, if you will, that centers more or less around Fake Four. Taking traditional hip-hop elements and mixing them with heavy doses of electronic and indie rock and a hint of punk, Factor has spawned a sound that is rather original. His latest effort, Lawson Graham, is a curious assortment of sounds all rooted to some degree in hip-hop. Certain tracks are superb; “More Than Love” is a dreamy, pop song with solid vocals from Kirby Dominant. Nomad and Gregory Pepper channel their inner-indie and crank out supreme guest appearances on “Oh Oh Andy” and “Missed The Train” respectively. However for every aurally pleasing song, there is a dud that fails to move the album forward (see “Blown Away”). Lawson Graham is progressive and artsy, but it is also a semi-realized vision that still needs a bit more work. – Zach Cole

3 out of 5
[audio:http://potholesinmyblog.flywheelsites.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Factor-Thats-How-I-Feel-About-It-ft-Myka-9.mp3|titles=Factor – Thats How I Feel About It ft Myka 9]

Dr. Quandary – Beyond All Spheres of Force and Matter
World Around: 2010
Purchase on Bandcamp

Coming from the somewhat left-field hip-hop realm of World Around Records, I knew immediately that I was in for a trip with Dr. Quandary’s Beyond All Spheres of Force and Matter. What I didn’t know was just how funky and lush of a trip it would be. The good Doctor has laced together quite a record here, building layer upon layer of sampled grooves and instrumentation. I for sure thought this would equate to mood music and, to an extent, I was right. Those not ready to drift through Quandary’s spacey medicine might get lost in his worldliness. But beat-heads and those with a soft-spot for instrumental-hop will be right at home here, especially with highlights like album-opener “Ekbat de Sebat” and the brooding, haunting “Ziusudra”. – Andrew Martin

3.5 out of 5
[audio:http://potholesinmyblog.flywheelsites.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Dr-Quandary-Eleven-Eleven.mp3|titles=”Eleven Eleven”]

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