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Shob: Solide

French bass master Shob returns with his latest bottom end fixated outing Solide, a funk-fusion album that sits on the riff and then some. Whoomph and doooomph springs the four string right from the off on “Hostile”, a song that isn’t so much the bristling threat its name implies. Instead it’s time to bop and hop as organ churns out a basis from which roaming drums tumble down the toms and the groove bites hard. Brass makes an appearance and at times there’s melody to burn, but in short, it’s all about the bass, baby.

That leaves early salvos like “Primal Fear” or “Vertige” to initially catch you off guard and reel you in but as with previous albums from this supreme talent, once that opening impressiveness wears off, you’re left looking for something of more substance to draw you in and keep you held, so “Le Breche” or “Turbo Zulu” are found wanting.

Not so much in isolation - a cleansing burst of bass on an eclectic playlist perhaps - but in situ, as part of a similarly themed album, the singular focus becomes a blur and things begin to merge into a pot of safe but not so satisfying. None of that is a comment on the impressive musicianship on show and neither is meant to diminish what’s been attempted here. However, for me, an album that begins with a singular intention and outlook is nearly always then set to struggle to break free of its confines. That’s exactly where Solide falls - an impressive musical exercise that doesn’t really hold the imagination as much as you initially think it will, even if its constituent parts are clearly of the highest calibre.

Track Listing
1. Hostile
2. Primal Fear
3. Vertige
4. Memoire
5. La Breche
6. Solide
7. Turbo Zulu
8. What Now?
9. Totem
10. Cure
11. Dr Gros Zozo

Added: December 8th 2019
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Shob @ bandcamp
Hits: 494
Language: english

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