Fort Knox Five


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The Fort Knox Five (who are, inevitably, a quartet) are remix artists with a difference: not satisfied with simply rejiggering the instrumentation on an existing track, they add their own live instrumental parts to the songs that they remix. Their second album is a continuously mixed collection of songs and club instrumentals by the likes of Nickodemus, Ursula 1000, Soulphonic Soundsystem, and Torpedo Boyz; as you might expect, breakbeats and old-school funk are the overarching themes here, with some similarly tradition-minded rap and even Latin dance music thrown in for good measure. The album opens with a great live Tito Puente performance, in fact, and it's one of the most fun tracks on the album. Then Nickodemus raps on "Give the Drummer Some," a warmhearted tribute to old-fashioned funk complete with jazzy flute. On "Get It Together," by Dynamo Productions, you may find yourself wishing that the turntablist would get just a little more wicked, and the answer to the question "Ain't It Funky" (by A. Skillz & Krafty Kuts) is "Yes, but it's also kind of insubstantial despite the great bassline." But Ursula 1000 raises the temperature nicely on "Elektrik Boogie" (notice the cool falsetto vocals) and Torpedo Boyz do the same on "Are You Talking to Me???" (notice the subtly impressive horn arrangements). Recommended.

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