Amp Fiddler

Love and War

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Basementality turned out not to be a one-off for Amp Fiddler, who delivered this second 12" for Genuine in the middle of 2003. It's not as stellar as its predecessor, but it isn't short on its own delights. The lead track, written and produced with Fiddler and Kenny Dixon, Jr. (aka Moodymann, who once again uses his JAN alias in the credits), is an extended rolling groove accented by clicking stick drums, pattering bongos, and occasional gusts of cornet. Along with subtle atmospheric touches, Fiddler's voice surfs atop the arrangement, only reaching a truly emphatic level for the line "You've got to stand for something, or you'll fall for anything." As corny and trite as the remainder of the lyrics would look on paper, the context in which they're delivered makes it a non-issue. "Freakin'" is a deliriously odd R&B/funk track, with all sorts of strange sounds coaxed from Fiddler's synth. "This Is How," a laid-back track tailor-made for a summer afternoon, falls more in line with Basementality's "Eye to Eye" and "You," without sounding like a rehash of either. Two remixes close off the release: a painfully brief JAN mix of "Eye to Eye" that's over before hitting three minutes, and a version mix of "Love and War," which provides a thicker rhythmic underbelly and some wonderfully delicate keyboard touches.

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