Listen & Learn

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Audiovisual shaolin savants Stuart Warren Hill and Robin Brunson don't step from behind the shadows of their phenomenally successful multimedia operation very often, and considering they are rare contributors to Coldcut's Solid Steel radio show, they proved something of a surprise choice for this sophomore outing in Ninja Tune's mix series. The pair's album, however, proves to be more than on a par with DJ Food's antecedent effort, peppered with vocal samples and technical trickery and aided and abetted by some gadget-laden CD turntables. Indeed, Listen & Learn proves an apt title for an album that is a lesson in selection -- skipping from their own hazy "Telemetron" through original block-rockers from Dawn Penn, Grandmaster Flash, and Ike & Tina Turner's much-sampled "Funky Mule" before skipping to a more modern fandango by way of Boards of Canada. The three-track electro beatdown and subsequent segue from Michael Viner to Young MC's "Apache"-borrowing "Know How" is inspired, with Hill and Brunson mixing and matching their formidable reputation in the video suite with layer upon layer of record as far as can be, from the Protools-assisted 4/4 nonsense which has become the common weapon of choice for the mixed compilation. Another astonishing addition to what is becoming a wonderful series.

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