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ARTIST: KUTIMAN TITLE: KUTIMAN LABEL: MELTING POT MUSIC RELEASE DATE: 26 OCTOBER 2007 CONTENTS: 01. Bango Fields * 02. No Reason For You (feat.Elran Dekel) * 03. Take A Minute * 04. No Groove Where l Come From (feat.Elran Dekel) * 05. Losing It (feat. Karolina) * 06. Skit * 07. l Just Wanna Make Love To You (Feat. Chaka Moon) * 08. Chaser * 09. Once You're Near Me (feat.Elran Dekel) * 10. Escape Route * 11. Trumpet Woman (feat. Karolina) * 12. Music ls Ruling My World (feat. Karolina) * 13. And Out * ***All Played, arranged and produced by Kutiman " Psychedelic space funk architect“ - Straight No Chaser “Absolutely feeling this one right now" - Gilles Peterson " Beautifully heavy." - Turntable Lab "Steady psycho folk-rock funk monster" - Roskow (Jazzanova) "Mostly perfect for summer jamming purposes. " - The Fader "Modern psychedelic funk from Tel Aviv“ - Dusty Groove
I know music I like when I hear it. I've never been able to enumerate a list of things I like or don't like in music, and I don't always necessarily know why I like something-- it just flips that switch we all have inside of us. Ultimately, I don't think it's important to know why we like the music we do, because the act of liking it is self-justifying. I'm saying all this in part because I couldn't immediately think of a way to describe what's so great about Kutiman. I know one thing, though: I like this.
Ophir Kutiel (the Kutiman moniker stems from his family name, but could as easily be read as admiration for Nigerian Afrobeat icon Fela Kuti) is a solo act from Tel Aviv, Israel, a one-man band who occasionally brings in his friends when he thinks they can improve the sound or he needs some horns (he needs them often). His music is something like Israel itself, a mishmash of things from all over the world, the old and the new side by side, a melting pot with a common overarching identity. He's schooled in the funk and fusion of the 1970s, Afrorock and Afrobeat, heavy psych from the 60s, hip-hop and modern R&B, a bit of reggae and dub, a couple decades of electronic music, and the general art of the groove.
This comes together in a fantastic, head-spinning debut album, a psyched-up groove monster that can't decide between vintage and modern and instead just has it both ways. It works in the same way a lot of releases on the Ubiquity label, like Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra or Will Holland's Quantic, work, by finding that switch that makes you forget about the why and just enjoy the what. It opens with a light appetizer in instrumental "Bango Fields", a basic funk track topped with a squiggle of ring-modulated analog synth that suggests Kutiel might be able to make a pretty good living as a hip-hop producer, but that barely prepares the listener for the album as a whole.
"No Reason For You", one of several tracks that features vocals by Elran Dekel, follows with a crushing Led Zeppelin beat, heavy Fela horn section, huge, sweeping chorus, and a towering, psychedelic hook that sounds like a cross between a choir and a string section but actually probably comes from a synthesizer. The synthesizer on "Once You're Near Me" is more playful, sort of an electro-exotica hook for Dekel to play off. He's a pretty versatile singer, giving a pointed, almost ominous performance on "No Reason", while his contribution to "Once You're Near Me" sounds like a lounge signer sucked into an echo chamber.
Kutiel's other principle vocal collaborator, Karolina, has a voice sort of like a melting trumpet-- you can tell she's listened to a least a few Billie Holiday records. She sounds especially great on the jazz-inflected "Trumpet Woman", wherein she imitates the titular instrument to great effect over a miles-thick bass line and chilled-out drumbeat. She gets a little more down and dirty on the spectacular funk workout "Music Is Ruling My World", given a kickass drum break and a big horn section to duke it out with. Even when the album moves away from funk workouts, it remains engrossing. "I Just Wanna Make Love to You" provides a chilly interlude at the album's midpoint, with muted trumpet and saxophone wandering through an R&B fog driven by a downtempo funk beat. The closest thing I can think to compare it to is DJ Shadow's "What Does Your Soul Look Like? (part 1)."
Somewhere in all that, there are a whole lot of reasons to like this record. It's an album that feels right all over the place-- in the car, at home late at night, on a large soundsystem at a party...Kutiman takes all his influences, gives them a swirl and emerges with a great debut that hits that elusive switch over and over. -- Pitchfork , February 27, 2008See all Editorial Reviews
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Five stars - highly recommended, and well worth the nine bucks it costs to download here.
This music is great, and I recommend it to anyone interested or intrigued by electronic, funk, hip hop, or just gripping rhythms!
must have for poeple who dig groove music from the seventies.
this is the same guy who created the brilliant Thru-you project