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Numbers - Safety In Numbers
Numbers is a collaborative project assembled by producer Demus, best known for his work on the classic Young Disciples Road To Freedom LP and as a member of 2 Banks of Four. Among the artists participating on this excellent piece of future soul are Ski Oakenfull and vocalists Valerie Etienne and Carleen Anderson, both appearing under pseudonyms.

Offering a funkier, more jazz-inflected take on broken beat, Safety In Numbers begins with a homage to the motherland in "Africa," immediately preparing you for a mystical journey that encompasses the emotional spectrum. Anderson, after considerable time away from the public, shines throughout the disc. Her elegant, commanding vocal presence drives "Traffic" and "Mardou's Lament" to dizzying heights as the most arresting songs on the disc.

As with much broken beat, the success of Numbers depends on the production, and here Demus does not disappoint. In accordance with his reputation, Demus provides tracks that alternate between funk, jazz, and soul, laying a solid foundation for the singers to soar over. He seems to have an especially strong connection with Anderson; 10 years after the Young Disciples, the magic between the two is clearly evident. Let's hope their collaborations continue well into the future. To his credit, the only stereotypically-sounding broken beat cut is "Jack Summerset," but even there, a wonderful jazz breakdown lifts the track from mediocrity. Elsewhere, the soundscapes are among the most progressive in the genre, as on the epic "Either-Or." Challenging but ultimately rewarding, high enough praise cannot be lavished on this disc.    

Copyright 2002  All rights reserved.

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Released 2001 on Main Squeeze 

Selected Tracks:

Music Box

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