Shawn Lee

Music and Rhythm: Ubiquity Studio Sessions, Vol. 1

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There is no Ping Pong Orchestra, of course -- unless you want to count the impressive array of vintage soul, jazz, and funk LPs on which Shawn Lee drew for this celebration of rare grooves and modern loops. The first installment in the Ubiquity label's Studio Sessions series, Music and Rhythm draws on everything from Indian film soundtracks ("Bollywood") to souled-up Brazilian grooves ("Swamp Samba"), spaghetti Western funk ("Pasta Cowboy"), and hyperactive spy movie chase scene music ("King Conga"). Not everything here fits easily into a single category either, which makes things even more fun: "Brooklyn" is a fairly straightforward piece of trip-hop turntablism, but "Scorpion" is some kind of twisted amalgam of 1970s funk and metal, and "Monterey Jack" brings back the spaghetti Western sonorities and fuses them with lazy funky soul. If you're someone who keeps the six-disc CD player shuffling constantly back and forth between Saint Etienne, Ennio Morricone, James Brown, and Percy Faith, then you'll get a huge kick out of this album.

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