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  High Contrast True Colours
The True Colours is a double-CD release. Disc one is the artist album with original tracks (unmixed), while disc two represents a continuous mix (and High Contrast's deejaying ability). Two different discs, so Lunar brings you two different reviews—both staff reviewers give it the total thumbs up!

Rating: 5 out of 5! Rating: 5 out of 5! Rating: 5 out of 5! Rating: 5 out of 5! Rating: 5 out of 5!

by Kelly Hubertus

High Contrast's debut double disc set is a fresh, new sound and a major step in emerging out of the darkness of drum n' bass as we know it. The first disc opens with "Return of Forever," fooling the listener to get their ears ready for the expected, but for those of you who know High Contrast and his music, he is far from the usual. Track one almost sounds as if it is going to be dark, but then Lincoln surprises us with a sick synth alongside an airy background, and then, oh my goodness, some whirling, funky vocals! Yeah, this CD is definitely going to keep listeners guessing. Lincoln Barrett, the Welsh native who is the master behind this fascinating two disc set, has produced all eleven delicious tracks on disc one to be sopped up with a biscuit, because you don't want to leave behind any of this yummy liquid funkiness! Can't forget the ambient syrup either! "Make it Tonight" has a nice mix n' match of sounds and vocals. Imagine cutting and pasting on your computer—that's exactly what High Contrast has shown through his producing here. Hence the name High Contrast. He is an innovator of sound and has successfully managed to fit it all in each beat. From a DJ's perspective, quite a bit of fun is to be had when being the selecta! The airy sound of a deflating balloon begins "Remember When," and the piano is a nice accent to this one. The soulful, house-like female vocal spices up everything! Oh but wait! There is more! Shhhh, you just have to listen! Whether you are cleaning, cooking, driving in the car, or hangin' at the spot, you will notice your head a bobbin'. It can't be helped! High Contrast's appearance in Atlanta is sure to be a great time and amazing to see! Don't miss it, especially all of you dn'b fans out there!

Rating: 5 out of 5! Rating: 5 out of 5! Rating: 5 out of 5! Rating: 5 out of 5! Rating: 5 out of 5!

by Sterling McGarvey

Okay, say what you will: Lincoln Barrett does not walk on water. He does not randomly make fish and bread loaves come out of nowhere. He can't turn your Aquafina into a 2001 bottle of Fat Bastard. And if you…well, hopefully, no one would take it to that level just to see if he pops back up and arises in three days. But he has certainly brought a new aesthetic to Drum n' Bass as a genre. As High Contrast, he has brought a great deal of buzz and attention back to DnB. People who have written off any breakbeats pacing at more than 160 BPMs are taking a look at the sound again, thanks to producers such as Marcus Intalex and S.T. Files, Calibre, and, of course, High Contrast. Not to discredit any of the other greats of the genre, but the widespread popularity of Liquid Funk as a subgenre of Drum n' Bass can easily be considered one of the most notable events in Dance Music in 2002. One might even go so far as to say that Liquid Funk has displaced Intelligent/Atmospheric as the Drum n' Bass sound preferred by many listeners who only dabble in DnB. The US finally gets its taste of one of the albums that defines the sound: High Contrast's True Colours.

The second part of the album is a mix of all of the original tracks featured on the first disc along with a bonus track ("Full Intention") blended in for good measure. For certain, one cannot deny that the track selection is top notch. Barrett weaves in and out of his tracks with a smooth deftness that keeps the head nodding and the feet tapping. In spite of the fluidity of the mixing, the CD is surprisingly short for a mix. Clocking in at 47:14, it makes one wonder if the parties at Hospital Records as well as High Contrast himself didn't simply acknowledge that the listener can listen to the first disc if he or she desires to hear the tracks stretched out in their entirety. It's like they spit out cut after cut and trim the fat completely. It can be considered either a good or bad thing, depending on the listener's discretion.

The possible only gripe with the mix is the omission of one of High Contrast's other amazing cuts: "What's the Story?" Now you know that don't make no kind of sense!

Nevertheless, the mix stands in its own beauty in its construction. Unlike a classic album like Reprazent's New Forms, High Contrast takes an album chock full of original cuts and swirls them together into a beautiful soundscape that leaves the listener with a warmth seldom felt except in drinking games involving grain liquor. It might be the sexiest music to be played at 175 BPM. Is this the Junglist's equivalent of Songs in the Key of Life? Will the DnB kids be playing this when the red lights are on and the "Do Not Disturb" hanger is on the outside knob? One thing is for sure: If the first disc whets the listeners' appetite for armchair exposure, then the second disc of True Colours is designed to rock it out, be it in the boom box or the car.

In all seriousness, True Colours is an album bound to join New Forms, LTJ Bukem's current Producer series, EZ Rollers' Weekend World and Goldie's Timeless as albums that serve as required listening for newcomers to the sounds of Drum n' Bass. The only major question that lingers after hearing it is: How will High Contrast top something this amazing? Time will reveal.

Related links

At Amazon.com

True Colours from Amazon.com True Colours
by High Contrast

Disc 1:

  1. Return of Forever
  2. Music is Everything
  3. True Colors
  4. Global Love
  5. Exposé
  6. Passion
  7. Make It Tonight
  8. Remember When
  9. Savoir Faire
  10. Fools Gold
  11. Mermaid Scar
Disc: 2
  1. Music Is Everything
  2. Global Love
  3. Savoir Faire
  4. Suddenly
  5. Remember When
  6. Passion
  7. True Colors
  8. Mermaid Scar
  9. Return of Forever
  10. Exposé
  11. Full Intention
  12. Make It Tonight

Order Now at Amazon.com

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