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  London Elektricity Billion Dollar Gravy Hospital
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Rating: 3.5 out of 5

by Sterling McGarvey

Last year's liquid funk craze reached a frenzy that culminated in the success of producers like M.I.S.T., Greg Packer and Mathematics and of labels like Soul:R and Defunked. One of the subgenre's most well known labels, Hospital, is home to producers like Landslide and Danny Byrd and most famously to Welsh protégé, High Contrast. Originally, the pair of Tony Colman and Chris Goss launched the label and, as the production team London Elektricity, released anthems like "Song in the Key of Knife," "Pull the Plug," and "My Dreams" (which is featured on the album). With the success of True Colours last summer, Goss broke off to focus on managing the label, while Colman continued production under the group's moniker. With the success of Hospital last summer, Breakbeat Science is distributing another smasher from the label, Billion Dollar Gravy.

Those of you expecting True Colours 2 should wait until Mr. Barrett drops his next album later this year. Colman's production is a bit heavier on the soul and lighter on the film scores. However, like True Colours, the charm of Billion Dollar Gravy manifests itself in a long listen. It's not an album that can be listened to in sound bites. The tracklisting works like a mix in some ways. Tunes like the title track and "Fast Soul Music" are quality appetizers for a segue into "The Great Drum + Bass Swindle," with its catchy hook and deep bassline and the soaring synthwork of "Cum Dancing," one of the highlights of the album, in spite of a title that will elicit snickers from kids everywhere. The borderline intelligent-sounding "Harlesden" is a current favorite of LTJ Bukem's, and a listen to its lushness indicates exactly why. The inclusion of "My Dreams," featuring the vocals of house legend Robert Owens, is a shrewd move for introducing new listeners to London Elektricity's classics. "Born to Synthesize" takes a break from the harder beats and descends into downtempo territory. While the soaring vocals feel a little overdone, the synths on the track are super-ill; if I were a downtempo DJ, I'd give up a pinky toe for a dub.

Billion Dollar Gravy makes for a solid gateway to more of the Hospital sound. If True Colours whetted the appetites of both drum n' bass heads and general dance music enthusiasts, then Billion Dollar Gravy makes for a good second step in the direction of the sound. Its faults are fairly minor- while all of the tracks are good, some don't really stand out so much as they merely contribute to a soundscape. However, it's a good album, and it's perfect for fans of the Plastic Surgery series and other releases on Hospital Records.

At Amazon.com

London Elektricity - Billion Dollar Gravy
Hospital

Track Listing:

  1. Billion Dollar Gravy
  2. Different Drum
  3. Fast Soul Music
  4. To Be Me
  5. The Great Drum + Bass Swindle
  6. Cum Dancing
  7. Main Ingredient
  8. Harlesden
  9. My Dreams
  10. Born To Synthesize
  11. Syncopated City



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