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New Sector Movements - Download This
This is probably the most heavily anticipated album in the burgeoning "broken beat" genre, as New Sector Movements frontman IG Culture is often referenced as one of the guiding lights of the style.

As is the case with most hyped product, Download is a bit of a disappointment.  Not because of any inherent flaws, but I think I'm jaded from reading too much about him.

Simply put, the LP is all about the rhythm.  Around 70% of the beats are blazing, as exemplified on several standout tunes: "Mass Car Raid" is like CTI on speed, a manic pace cooled out by catchy keyboard licks.

Special mention must be given to Eric Appapoulay, whose tasty guitar fills add an element usually missing from this type of music. 

It's when the singers crop up that the album tends to lose momentum.   Frank McComb kicks things off with "Anthem," but here, as on all of his selections, he's pushing so hard to emulate Stevie Wonder that it becomes tiring.   Stevie's influence has been hovering over singers for 30 years, so it's no surprise some of his phrasing has rubbed off, but McComb's failure to cop any tricks of his own leaves you wondering if he'll develop an original style.

Eska comes off better than McComb, but "Penny Dropped" reveals that IG's talent for writing lyrics isn't up to par with his beat programming capabilities.  Underdeveloped verses leave you hoping that there's a good bridge coming to compensate, but few are to be found.  The best vocal is the title track, a soulful moment that hints at broken beat's potential to go to the next level.

Is Download worth the coins?  Yes.  But it reflects the difficulty of nascent dance styles to sustain their vitality over a full-length.   Give IG a couple of years and I expect we'll get the breakthrough we've been promised.  

Copyright 2001 B.Graff.  All rights reserved.

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Released 2001 on Virgin

Selected Tracks:

Mass Car Raid
Download This

Mysterious Sound
Show Dem


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