Coldcut - Sound Mirrors
Tue 31st Jan, 2006 Music Reviewsin
After years of restless chin-scratching on our part, Coldcut have at last delivered us their latest studio effort. Sound Mirrors is the first big studio release from the British duo since 2004’s best of and it doesn’t mince words, as to why the band have been such a classic and timeless force on the scene and have been for a long and fruitful 19 years.
Matt Black and Jon More have excelled themselves further than ever before with Sound Mirrors, they’ve pulled out all the stops to make sure their most shining and solid effort, gets all the attention it deserves. Starting with a finger-licking list of guest vocalists and collaborators that have happily lent their time and talents to make the album the genre cocktail explosion it is.
The first single and album opener ‘Everything Is Under Control’ is a fired-up hip hop based rock-bred monster of a track featuring the dark, gruff, whisky-swilling voice of Jon Spencer (ex-Boss Hogg, current Blues Explosion). It’s no wonder they’ve already had such success and interest when the album hits the ground running this fast. The following track, is even funkier, as they strip back the rock and add some more light in an easily addictive hip hop dream, fronted by Roots Manuva.
Track 3 ‘Man In A Garage’ is where the album’s mood shifts a little, into a more melancholy vibe with a stunning vocal performance by Jon Matthias above a profusion of beats and loops. Whilst ‘Walk A Mile’ keeps the more down-tempo vibe going, Robert Owens adds all the glitz and guts a voice can hold to give the track everything it needs to be a timeless classic and with Coldcut’s layered sonic masterpiece underneath, we don’t have to look much further for our first nominee when thinking of records of the year.
The whole album is perfection, like a dark summer’s day, with travelling clouds, a patch of rain and those glistening bits of sunlight in between. It’s a gorgeous effort that flows just as well as an entire album, as it does as a long list of singles -each shining in their own light. If you haven’t indulged yourself in Coldcut’s work as of yet, then there really hasn’t been a better time to do so. I think we can all agree that this is today’s songwriting at it’s very best and for Coldcut, it’s great to see that the ideas still haven’t stopped flowing, they’re just getting greater and more skilled with their craft.