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coverpic flag England - Full Moon 63 - 11/30/01

As One (Kirk Degiorgio)
21st Century Soul
Ubiquity Records

Electric and eclectic! As One is legendary UK producer, composer and DJ Kirk Degiorgio, and his latest album 21st Century Soul on Ubiquity Records is fuelled with future techno soul and nu jazz electronica. This is simply forward thinking electronic music, made for the eclectic dance music scene.

The soundscapes on 21st Century Soul is a follow up to the highly acclaimed Mo'Wax album Planetary Folklore from 97. But on this album he develops and brings his beautifully soulful sounds that fuse Detroit with West London to an even higher level than last time. So what can you expect from a man playing synthesisers with names giving you associations to games you played on your Commodore 64? As One is the result of twisting the sound out of Waldorf Waves, Doepfer A100 Modular System, ARP Odyssey, Emulator IV, Minimoog etc. and putting it together in new and interesting ways.

Degiorgio's art is to open up new horizons where the many strands of influences are woven together with comparative ease. He creates a sonic universe with elements from modal jazz, techno, funk and black American soul among other genres. The roots of his compositions and the main influences goes way back to the soul of Motown, mid-60's Blue Note jams, P-Funk, Detroit techno and even early hip hop. And on this eleven track record he brings you through several club boms in diverse styles, all from new jazz and two step to breakbeat and house. The album might for the first time give you a feel of turbulent soundscapes in an almost claustrophobic atmosphere, but the melodies are always with a lush, warm and deep feeling, and never pointlessly noodly or boring.

In spite of all the technology behind this music you can also expect acoustic instruments like horns, bass and drums, but this varies throughout the record. Two tracks also contain some juicy vocal featuring the voice of rootsy Simon Jinardu. Even though the tempo changes all through the album, there is always some kind of rhythm or pulse in the material (usually based outside of the constraints of the straight 4/4 beat). In example the opening cut Another revolution is a hectic uptempo nu jazz track, Undefeated is Brazilian inspired with a touch of ambient, Amalia is beautiful laid-back souljazz, while Like No Other is rather trip-hop. Although the melodies vary trough the journey it all is intellectually suede together, mostly by the unique and characteristic individual sound of As One.

Many records are hard to systematise or file by genre or categories. 21st Century Soul are one of those records. I like that - mixing up genres is god and brings new elements in music. Still, if you want to file this record in your collection, and have problems finding the right place, I have an advice. Make new categories. My suggestion is to file this record under "As One" or "Electric and eclectic"!

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