Ten years after his British breakout, Kirk Degiorgio's As One project finally earned an American release (through Ubiquity), and it's as solid a jazz-breaks fusion as any he's done in the past few years (that's saying a lot). Sure, 21st Century Soul is less the sound of the future than a jumped-up, broken-beat vision of Herbie Hancock electro-jazz classics like 1972's Sextant, but there's no future like the past, and this is the catchiest, most innovative, futurist As One record ever recorded -- a confident blend of his early machine-in-motion techno with the organic, "influences" work of Planetary Folklore. The driving oscillator groove of the opener "Another Revolution" sets the stage for what's to come: atmospheric synth, direct-step beats, and exploratory solos, all created with Degiorgio's first-class collection of gear, including ARP's, Moogs, Fender Rhodes, and Clavinet. The framework for most of these tracks is reminiscent of The Message in Herbie's Shirts and Planetary Folklore, but the results are simply breathtaking, the proper summation of the work he's been doing for four years. Degiorgio also conjures the ghost of In a Silent Way/Bitches Brew better than any electronica producer with the beautiful "Amalia," one of only three tracks including other musicians. 21st Century Soul finds Degiorgio peaking just as he enjoys his largest mainstream exposure, and it should do much to shine a light on one of the best British producers around.
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AllMusic Review by John Bush