Ming + FS

Back to One

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If you ever watch TV you've heard the music of Ming + FS, even if their name doesn't ring a bell -- the DJ/production team has created music for more ads and TV series than you can shake a tone arm at, and they even appeared as themselves in a Nissan Altima commercial. They have a fearsome reputation as remixers of others' work, but where they really shine is on their own full-length albums, which give them the chance to stretch out and show their breadth of expertise and musical knowledge. It would have been nice if they'd stretched out just a bit further on this, their fourth album (which clocks in at just under 42 minutes in length), but while the music lasts it's a nonstop party that never settles down into a single kind of groove. There's the jungle/dub/hip-hop of "Back to One" and the slinky, hardheaded rap of "Starts Somewhere" (both of which feature the formidable rhyming skills of Napoleon Maddox); there's the spacy drum'n'bass of "Chester Goes to Town"; there are the unfortunately gimmicky kid voices on "Big Little Jeffrey." It all hangs together beautifully, and it would be rated a pick if there were just about 15 minutes or so more of it.

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