Rennie Pilgrem


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The second artist album from former jazzman and house maven Rennie Pilgrem finds him continuing to explore the breakbeat universe that he adopted as his home after losing patience with the increasingly frenetic and druggy house scene of the mid-'90s. On Pilgrimage he generally keeps things pretty spare and funky; "Defender" segues with surprising naturalness from a sampled string quartet to a raunchy Delta blues guitar to a thumping house groove; "Coming Up for Air" makes nice use of the ethereal vocals of Sara Whittaker Gilbey, which float above a sturdy breakbeat and blippy, Kraftwerk-ish synthesizers; "Celeb" places the lyrics of MC Chick A-Boo in a dreamy, dubwise house setting. Too bad the lyrics aren't a bit more creative or interesting on that last one; they consist entirely of the phrases "Celebrities/Say, what's it all about?/Famous for nothing/Let me hear you shout." Feel free to skip over that track and spend some quality time with the jazzy funk of "Go Back" or the dark, jittery untitled bonus track that ends the album. This isn't a perfect album, but it will bring plenty of joy to the hearts of the breakbeat faithful.

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