zerodB - Bongos, Bleeps & Basslines

Chris Vogado and Neil Combstock a.k.a. zerodB have picked perhaps the most apt title in recent memory for their debut. But while Bongos, Bleeps & Basslines is a very good indication of the album's direction, it still only seems part of the picture. At least half of this record leaves most other current dance music sounding hopelessly subdued.

A Pomba Girou, Te Quiero and the title track use driving latin percussion, clipped, exotic vocals, zaps of electronic noise and extraordinarily phat basslines. In addition to leaving you breathless, they'll make the floor vibrate and do funny things to your insides. This is undoubtedly where zerodB excel. Less ferocious, but obviously by the same hand, are Conga Madness, Sambo Du Umbigo and On The One & Three. These cuts find zerodB's jazz tendencies coming to the fore, the latter having lashes of squawking free trumpet and saxophone. Don't worry; you'll still want to dance.

The duo also provide two contrasting slices of hip-hop. Know What I’m Sayin’?, featuring Pase Rock, continues with the fuzzed-up electronic bass and has the punch of a top drawer UNKLE or DJ Shadow collaboration. Meanwhile, Anything’s Possible, featuring female rapper, Voice, is one of two laidback tracks, xylophone giving it an air of cocktails and canapés. Closing number, Sunshine Lazy, is pretty similar, only rapping is swapped for singing to create a classy nine minutes of soul-jazz.

Bongos, Bleeps & Basslines oozes style and sweat. It’s at times an exceptionally well produced, visceral dance record, yet, dipped in latin and jazz influences, has a loose, live edge. zerodB mean business; this is one of the most exciting and unique albums of the year so far.

Overall

8

out of 10

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