At least he's managed to keep one mate...
Gerry Hectic

14:09 9th August 2005

 

Various Artists - 'Keepintime'This album is the result of the visionary zeal of Irish born photographer, filmmaker and writer Brian Cross (aka B+) who moved to Los Angeles in the 1990’s. 

In 2000, DJ Shadow was touring with B+’s movie called 'Keepintime: Talking Drums Whispering Vinyl'.  From this, B+ had the idea of live show in LA where DJs and producers (including Madlib and DJ NuMark) would jam live and create music with two of LA’s top drummers, Paul Humphrey and James Gadson. This CD is the product of the recorded multitrack parts from this live show being sent to a host of producers worldwide with a brief to built on the rhythms and add their own individual touches.

Inevitably, some of the beats and samples have a touch of cliché about them on a near 30 year retrospective hip hop tip but that is more than outweighed by the very best producers beat inventiveness; such as DJ Shadow (2 tracks), Cut Chemist, King Britt and Charlie Dark.  The latter’s contribution is a particularly monstrous opening track of deep electroid bass boom using a M.C. sample “This is special, what’s happening tonight is special”. It certainly is.

Ammoncontact’s track is a small opus that includes the extraordinary jazz vocalisations of Dwight Trible.  There are a few more ‘opus’ style tracks from O.H.N.O, J-Rocc and Nobody that span moody folktronica to banging boom bip.  This gives the album lots of variety. As a prime example, Brighton’s Quantic Soul Orchestra brings some soul funk to the party whilst Eric Coleman and Cut Chemist are more jazz-latin-funk.  The two extremes of hip hop would be represented by the ode to the 303 by DJ Nuts and an Orchestral boogie scratch by the genius known as Daedelus. Highlights a plenty, but check out what master DJ Shadow can do with a snippet of someone saying “Bring Madlib Up”.

In addition to all this, there’s a 120-minute DVD of the original ‘Talking Drums Whispering Vinyl’ film and other shorts, trailers and DJ Shadow video.

In ‘Keepintime: A Live Recording’, B+ could have produced something that in years to come will be seen as an influential as ‘The Front Line’ compilation was to reggae back in the 1970’s.