Desmond Williams

Delights of the Garden

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    8
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A delightful debut full-length indeed, featuring singles first heard on the introductory 12"s Um Favor and Theme From a Dream, as well as a composition called "First Touch" off the Cocoa EP. Over 14 marvelously constructed tracks, Desmond Williams unravels a poignant vision of downtempo that quite intelligibly illustrates his understanding of the foundation behind the styles he employs, included but not limited to dub, exotica, jazz, bossa pop, funk, and a sound that can simply be summed up with Eighteenth Street Lounge. All the flavors of the garden blend into each other with a rhythmic denominator fueled by Williams playing almost all the instruments himself, producing each beat and the entire album almost single-handedly. However, the standout tracks are definitely the ones featuring exotic vocals from Portia Cristina Joo, who soaks "Um Favor" and "First Touch" in a caressing opiate and guides her contributions to slightly more trip-hopping regions.

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