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coverpic flag England - Full Moon 57 - 06/06/01

Ian Simmonds
Return To X
Studio K7

Former bassplayer of the acid jazz formation The Sandals is back with a new album Return To X. Simmonds is not a newcomer in the game. He has worked with several projects both as a producer and a musician. Juryman was his first big solo project but he's also produced tracks for Leftfield and Pressure drop. This new album is released on the German label STUD!O K7, which in the early years produced videos about the punk and independent scenes featuring artists like Nick Cave and Einsturzende Neubauten. But the arrival of techno and house music also exerted its influence and in the following years they invented a visual language for this new music. The idea of launching digitally generated videoclips with some special DJ mixed sets on CD, the X-MIX, was a big success and many of the leading DJs went over to the label.

The album is an exciting journey between various musical "soundscapes", a kind of post modern approach by breaking down barriers between different musical traditions like jazz, dub, electronic and soundtracks format. Classic instrumentation is combined with jazz drums, synthesized sounds and a spinet! (where are the Stranglers...) It contains some brilliant moments with delicate floating mood pieces and repetitive patterns. There's also a certain nostalgic cinematic quality about some of the tracks. Its strength is the variation in the songs, they are never predictable, and also the emphasis put on the melodic sound.

Best moments: Swingin Millie with almost a folky bass tune, the mysterious Ocean Hill with some interesting drumbeats and at last the almost meditative Jet.

Distribution in Norway: Tuba!

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