If you’ve read the latest edition of Jungle Drums you’ll have spotted we’ve review all the album they have apart from this one which they didn’t like too much; will the Cubanistas fare any better on the FLY sound system with Hectic?
We’ll, I have to agree with that the locals don’t get much of a shout from the tracklisting on the promo version to the degree that you wouldn’t know that there’s any Cuban musicians involved with this album at all. And if that wasn’t enough, the first track find Lateef The Truth Speaker (a man of truth and speaking that we love) matched up with Norman Cook (a man that’s been out of form nearly as long at Brighton & Hove Albion have been sponsored by his Skint label).
What with Gilles Peterson on holiday in Cuba and Songlines celebrating 50 years of musical revolution in Cuba this month, when it comes to Revolution, it’s a shame that there’s no recognition that any of the musicians involved with this album are Cuban. And if that wasn’t enough, the first track finds Lateef The Truth Speaker (a man of truth and speaking that we love) matched up with Norman Cook (a man that’s been out of form nearly as long at Brighton & Hove Albion have been sponsored by his Skint label).
And then you’ll spot the vocal talents in the credits of R??is??n Murphy (‘Yellow Moon’) and Jenna G (‘Black Dollar’) so it can’t be too bad?
Well, even if the opener is old skool jazz-beat, Lateef The Truth Speaker can do no wrong in my book so the album starts off well with ‘Shelter’. Is it Cuban? No. So who is Guy Sigsworth? No idea, but his electro-jazz version of ‘Crazy Love’ owes a couple of $ to Beyonce’s ‘Crazy In Love’ and regular readers with know that I’m up for that type of thing. And on the tip, there’s a Latin ‘Cuba Boom’ that’ll shake Jay Z’s better half’s percussive ass.
Murphy fell off the radar after her Herbert produced album Ruby Blue (I seem to recall it was back to Ireland to look after a kid) so it’s good to hear her again but the vocal on a jazz-piano-house is a bit clich?©d but at least there’s a percussion element. It sounds like a James Bond remix track which could be good, but I’m not feeling it today (Oh! Hang on, is that big ending big enough?)
So not very Afro-Cuban jazz Revolution so far but Mr. Cook comes up trumps with a dub-out ‘Siente Mi Ritmo’ that’s the best of the album in cross-genre style. In fact, this one is very playable, Norman, I take it all back.
‘You Wouldn’t Want To Be Me’ (Cameron McVey and Stan Kybert) is a bit dram and the other track, ‘Black Dollar’ (featuring the otherwise always excellent Jenna G) is contrived anti-U.S./ naive punk rant that even Michael Bisbane would throw down.
If you mention U.S. and Cuba, yep ‘Guantanamo’ is here and picks it up for Islamic Latin dance boogie – this is what we were hoping for.
At the end of the day, this is very hit and miss and tend to side with Jungle Drums that there’s more miss that hit; perhaps it could have been a 12″ rather than an album.
Reviewed: The Revolution – Revolution (Rapster) Release date: 16th June 2009
1. The Revolution & Norman Cook ft. Lateef the Truth Speaker – Shelter (4:13)
2. The Revolution & Guy Sigsworth – Crazy Love (3:18)
3. The Revolution & Guy Sigsworth – Cuba Moon (3:13)
4. The Revolution & Marius DeVries ft. R??is??n Murphy – Yellow Moon 6:38)
5. The Revolution & Norman Cook – Siente Mi Ritmo (5:03)
6. The Revolution, Cameron McVey & Stan Kybert – You Wouldn’t Want To Me (4:10)
7. The Revolution & Rich File – Lies (4:06)
8. The Revolution & Poet Name Life ft. Orishas – 14Me (3:20)
9. The Revolution & Poet Name Life – Dark House Love (5:47)
10. The Revolution & Marius DeVries – Guantanamero (7:09)
11. The Revolution, Cameron McVey & Stan Kybert ft. Jenna G – Black Dollar (3:38)
12. The Revolution & Rich File – In Time (6:15)
Songlines – June 2009 ¬£4.25 www.songlines.co.uk