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Solar Life Raft

Solar Life Raft

November 2, 2009
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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By James Healy on November 10, 2009
Format: MP3 Music
BBC Review of Solar Life Raft

"Never predictable, full of surprises, and engaging from start to close."

Louis Pattison 2009-10-22

On paper, the mixes made by the likes of internationally-minded DJs like Jace `DJ /Rupture' Clayton and fellow Brooklynite Matt Shadetek look like they should be a jarring listen, full of tempo confusion and stark stylistic shifts.

But much like the pairs' earlier offerings -Rupture's game-changing 2001 CD mix Gold Teeth Thief or Team Shadetek's grime/dancehall/crunk hybrids - this new collaborative effort covers a lot of ground with ingenuity.

There's no muddled beat-matching or lazy mash-ups here: Solar Life Raft succeeds in its global scope because Rupture and Shadetek have a talent for melting borders, blending disparate sounds together with a subtle flourish that elevates their mixes above petty border concerns.

Things commence on a dub foot, with the double-whammy of Timeblind's Space Cadet and Matt Shadetek's own For the Souls, slow-skanking dubstep pitted with echoed-out horns. Following is For the Souls, a Shadetek-produced cut of world-weary reggae from Brooklyn vocalist Jahdan Blakkamore. But then, an instrumental edit of Gang Gang Dance's quasi-Arabic dance tune Bebey takes a left turn through a heaving bazaar, and a 30-second snippet of Finnish folk collective Paavoharju seems placed just so you can catch your breath before the bass drops again.

Plot all these maneuvers on a map and it looks bewildering, but it's really not; once your ears accumulate, it's quickly clear that trainspotting the provenance of the sounds is less important that simply locking into the duo's shared mindset.
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