Natural-Self - Let Peace Be The Ruler
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We’ve had a look at the 6 track EP, ‘Let Peace Be The Ruler’ and the previous 12”, ‘I Don’t Need This Trouble’ with the amazing Alice Russell. Now it’s the turn of the album, called Let Peace Be The Ruler out on Breakin’ Bread.
So who/what is Natural-Self? Just to clarify, Natural-Self is a project name of Keno-1 (aka Nathaniel). We know Gilles Peterson is a big fan, as is Nostalgia 77 and, of course, those Wah Wah 45’s boys. It’s easy to see why as he’s produced and written (or co-written) all of the 12 tracks on the album.
So why does he get this adulation? I’d say it’s because he’s absorbed all his hip hop, funk, jazz, Brazilian and African influences and created something that is just ready to breakout.
From the very start of the first track, ‘Solomon’ you can taste the dust coming off the elephants’ feet as we march into the unknown. It’s a real marker and a bit of a theme tune as it dates back to his earlier Tru-thoughts days.
You know ‘Soul Communication’ is all about the drums from the title. I can hear you chant, “We are family” from here. Also check ‘The Calling’ which is another great track in this modern modalism vibe.
Another reason this release is getting so much respect is, in addition to Ms. Russell, the quality of the musicians that are featured throughout the album. The sax of John Styles, flute of Johnny Hughes and additional percussion of Russell Knight will leave an impression on you. Particularly the additional percussion on ‘Songbird’! All part of the Quantic Soul Orchestra ‘massive’ and it makes you think this would be a great live act; somewhat like what Ben Lamdin has done with the Nostalgia 77 Octet.
For any arsonists about, ‘Fires Were Started’ contains the ringing sounds of old Fire Engine bells, this sort of thing usually falls short but not on this one. Another stand out track is ‘Black Orchid’ which spans Miles Davis to Loka.
Clever, intelligent and earthy all at the same time, this CD is as essential as food and water. Huge album required in every home, there won’t be a better one this year.
Reviewed : Natural-Self - Let Peace Be The Ruler (Breakin’ Bread) Cat. No. BNB023 Released Feb 2006
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