City Vibes

 |  July 31, 2009

This album cover vomits on the pivotal human principles of logic and reason. It twists every recognisable thread of remaining sanity in my brain and rapes the notion of artist integrity with a blunted lance. So what’s the music like? If one had dried chilli sprinkled slowly on forced open eyes for a month, it could not compare to the pain one suffers when exposed to this egotistical detritus. It is a Guantanamo Bay torture method, it is Dante meets Bosch in a crack lounge, it is Malcolm Macdowell in A Clockwork Orange enduring the unspeakable torments of a correctional facility. It is Kasabian’s new album; listen to it at your peril!

In their fourth release as an inspired duo performing ‘updated and traditional Irish music’ Matt and Shannon Heaton embrace the theme of love for an album recorded in a friend’s forest cottage on Cape Cod. If you are not already envisioning idyllic, carefree scenes then the soft vocals, flutes, bouzoukis and guitars will not fail to transport you to a state of relaxation and tranquillity. ‘Lovers’ Well’ includes a version of the 10th century Thai classical serenade ‘Lao Dueng Duen’ and is sung in Thai by Shannon, who spent many years living in Thailand in her youth, and who sent her CD to Citylife to be reviewed, and given an Irish lick with accordions and flutes, offering an unusual treat amongst a well-crafted album which has clearly been a labour of love.,

This isn’t just a great album cover, a shot from Charles Burnett’s 1977 film Killer of Sheep, it’s another great album of twisted, angry poetry and cutting edge hip-hop from Mos Def. With production provided by Mr Flash and Madlib, ‘The Ecstatic’ delivers racy, beat heavy and sombre tracks fused with seminal influences such as King Tubby and Fela Kuti. ‘Pistola’ harangues and taunts the listener with its tales of gun violence over sublime rhythms whilst ‘Auditorium’ and ‘Quiet Dog’ gulp down the sodden dregs of Mos Def’s contemporaries and give them a lesson in top-grade b-boy hip-hop

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