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Kacthé, Manu: The Scope

Possibly most renowned for time spent behind the kit with both Peter Gabriel and Sting, French-Ivorian drummer Manu Katché has also long been respected in more experimental jazz circles for infusing the more modern side of that scene with all manner of influences - some more contemporary, others heading into the arena of world music. The Scope continues to run around in that playground, rap, dance, pop, rock, electronics and ambient filters applied to percussion driven intricacies that thrive through their precise and clipped nature.

Not much on this album feels particularly organic, with a careful placement piecing together the different elements as the Gabriel like “Keep Connexion” invites you in and the shimmer of spareness that is “Let Love Rule” asks you to sit around the fire and soak in the warmth. The latter features the lounging vocals of Jonatha Brooke, who finds her easy to engage with voice swaying around some expertly laid down trumpet meanders. “Paris Me Manque” sits astride some sparkling snare work, keyboards and synthesised voice adding an otherworldly layer, while flirting dangerously close to twee through the acquired taste of French rap courtesy of Jazzy Bazz… while things are equally uncomfortable, if not more so, on the less than convincing “Tricky’98”. Although with it being listed as a bonus track, then maybe it’s a little easier to forgive - even if its inclusion takes this CDs’ running time to just a tickle over 36 minutes.

For the large part though, Katché keeps things running along with intrigue and interest, “Glow” an atmospheric shimmer where organ fills the space left by pinpoint percussion and a daring beat, while “Vice”, which features the vocals of Faada Freddy, proves surprisingly catchy on an album where that seldom seems the motivation. Add in the energetic funk of “Please Do” and the surging burst of album highlight, “Overlooking”, and this eclectic collection (arguably too eclectic) undoubtedly can captivate and caress, while at times doing its utmost to keep you at arms length.

Track Listing
1. Keep Connexion
2. Glow
3. Vice
4. Overlooking
5. Please Do
6. Paris Me Manque
7. Let Love Rule
8. Don’t U Worry
9. Goodbye For Now
10. Tricky ’98 (bonus track)

Added: December 8th 2019
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Manu Katche online
Hits: 842
Language: english

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