Spain's Stigmato Inc. advises us "to move" and "chill out" on the lofty dance number "Upward Bound Experience." And that's mostly the vibe on this colorful debut. Pulling from jazz, house, trip-hop, R&B, and soul, the chiefly organic Reality Check is genuinely diversified. In the positive "Strive to Be Happy," a true highlight, Danna Leese sings "Don't want to strive to be happy/I want to be happy now," augmented by the dazzling flute of Terence Butler. "Tribal Express," "Percussion Suite," and "La Maison de la Trompette" (featuring the sharp trumpet of Matthew Simon) are instrumental groove-shakers, but Reality Check also instills a look at some cultural and social issues. "Just for You (Condemned Servant)" concerns the troubles of women in Afghanistan, while "I Can Hang" and "Begone" concern a girl about to leave her boyfriend. Stigmato Inc doesn't stray too far from the other jazz-house fusionists, but this is a respectable first step into the field.
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AllMusic Review by Kenyon Hopkin