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Jumbonics - Talk To Animals

Jumbonics Talk To The Animals
Jumbonics - Talk To The Animals
(CD/2xLP) Tru Thoughts TRUCD120, 2007-02-12

Review :
I must admit I passed on the first Jumbonics album, "Super Baxophone". Maybe there was just two much stuff released during summer 2005, or maybe I wasn't in the right mood, but I only gave it a quick listen and didn't feel it much... Maybe I was just plain wrong and maybe I oughta check it again cos' their second album is a real grower which I've been coming back too repeatedly during the last weeks.

As with their previous effort, the first impression is not the best. I mostly heard programmations, intention of soulfulness, influences... nothing really original at first sight. But then I insisted, listened to it a second time around, and found myself grading more than interesting tracks on my laptop, choosing a few for some upcoming Paris DJs selections... The songs in there were just starting to sound classy, like some hidden 21st Century Soul jewels you need to polish first a bit to make them shine.

Opening track "Auto - Magic" is nice example, the primary impression being one of some post-Beck mashing-up pop-funk, soon slipping into a need to come back to this addictive soul over cinematic hip hop beats. The following track, "Take Me With You", was already featured in the recent "Shapes Compilation" (the green one), announcing the shift from instrumental space-funk to full-grown soul songs.

One could argue that everybody's going the "let's do songs" way nowdays, in order to get live dates, money in the pocket, etc., so the leading single is not forgotten either, with a cool funk-soul cover of The Strokes' "Last Nite", and its instant-classic instrumental b-side, "Red One", an orchestral-breakbeat thing perfectly fitted for today's movies and series. To go on the contradictory road a little bit, two more instrumental tracks follow, the slow disco of "Roll Mop" and the breabeats'n'strings arrangements of "Arco"...

It's then easy too get lost in the album's organic spacey soul-funk vibes of "Carousel" and "Famished", before the stirring up party-going "Down & Round", with its old school bouncy bass, claps, and jazz guitar ending solo. All songs in the proper sense of the term, just like the closing "Moving On", blending disco, funk and hip hop with a DJ's touch. Is that intelligent dance music for the soul? Play again.

Tracklisting :
01. Auto - Magic
02. Take Me With You
03. You're The One
04. Last Nite
05. Red One
06. Roll Mop
07. Arco
08. Carousel
09. Famished
10. Down + Round
11. Moving On

Links :

Press Release :
The Nextmen "Squelchy North London space-funk for the year 8000"
The Bees "Brilliant! Straight from the organically-grown aisle at somerfield. We want more jumbonics!"
XLR8R Magazine "Mothballed drums, suiggly analogue bass and spacey organ riffs to make you feel like dressing up to get down!"
Straight No Chaser "Great stuff. Off-the-wall instrumentation to really lose yourself in"
Rainer Truby "Excellent release - tasty and different"
IDJ Magazine " A well-paced collection of beats 'n' pieces. Interesting as ever from Brighton's Tru Thoughts imprint" Mr Scruff "Minimal, cheeky wibblers"
...These were just a few of the reactions to Jumbonics' 2005 debut LP for Tru Thoughts.

Jumbonics (a.k.a. Rob Mac and Matt Smooth) are the duo behind such classic London club nights at Scratch. When they're not recording and performing as Jumbonics or DJing and promoting in the Big Smoke, they can be found moonlightning as one half of soul-funk four piece Gum Drop.

'Talk To The Animals' takes a step away from the largely instrumental feel of their first album in favour of traditional, vocal-led song-structures and more mature soul sound; perfect for fans of Peven Everett and Jill Scott.

Norman Anderson lends his voice to the proceedings, leaving little doubt as to why he's been in such demand with the likes of Yam Who? and lately. If you haven't already heard Mr Anderson do his thing then trust us, this man can sing.

Amid a bewitching blend of styles including disco, funk and hip hop, the album boasts an infectious cover of The Strokes' international hit record 'Last Nite'. Released as a 7" single in December 2006, the Jumbonics version transforms the original from NY garage rock into a b-by/funk anthem.


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rui rui ·  16 January 2007, 09:28

great album. have reviewed it here:

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