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Get a Gitane clamped between those gold teeth, baby, it's time for some jazz drum'n'bass: [I]niiice[/I], as they never say down [B]Metalheadz[/B]....

Get a Gitane clamped between those gold teeth, baby, it's time for some jazz drum'n'bass: niiice, as they never say down Metalheadz. James Hardway (the dodgy 2000AD-style moniker of dance journeyman David Harrow, ex-Invader Of The Heart and Billie Ray Martin accomplice) attempts to marry the liquid, improvisational grooves of Miles Davis' 'In A Silent Way' to the rigid rhythms of Roni Size's 'New Forms'. The resulting sonic cappuccino (faux-cool, lots of froth) reveals more than just a few trumpets parping over half-arsed jungle breaks. But not much more.

Last year's underrated debut from Talvin Singh showed up Harrow's mentor Jah Wobble to be the hippy bore everyone secretly suspected, Singh proving that a global music outlook, modern sense of the spiritual and fuck-off beats could fuse in a non-goatee'n' cheroot kinda way. Erring more on the side of the Wob, 'A Positive Sweat' nonetheless emits occasional soulful blasts; Amanda Ghost's commanding purr on 'Sleep Tonight' is, for once, complemented by the bleating horns, while current single 'Go On' is a compelling breakbeat slow-burner, building up to a percussive climax free of the usual jazz sheen.

But it's not enough to save an album that revels in a schizophrenic mood of supposedly cutting-edge dynamism and affected '50s Noo Yawk loucheness. Less Chet Baker, more 'Baker Street'.
7 / 10

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