King Kooba

Imperial Solution

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Throughout 1997, Ben Curwin and Rob Miller's Second Skin imprint distinguished its sound from the ever-expanding fold of downbeat/drum'n'bass labels by way of a series of quality releases. Of these, King Kooba had the satisfaction of being the label's first artist to make the progression from EP to long-player. Producers Tate and Harris respond well, the combination of musician and DJ providing a smooth mixture, weaving level-headed instrumentation through a background of thought-through rhythmics. Though born of many influences, the overall feel is that of smoked jazz from the opening seconds of "Release the Cracken" to the closing moments of "Cat's Eye" -- the music, while uplifting, manages to avoid the half-hearted meandering that has faulted many similar projects. Enjoyable.

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