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Sci Fi: Sci Fi

Sci Fi lives up to its spacey name. The North Carolina-based band takes off with its self-titled debut of jam-influenced Southern-style fusion. Sci Fi opens with the lullaby-like "Intro," which segues into "Classical Dub," a dynamic track that embodies all of what is right and good about this trio: a tasty concoction of rock, jazz, reggae and jam. The (mostly) instrumental music swirls and glides with the precision of a band well beyond its first album.

Yet here Sci Fi is, taking listeners on a 70-minute journey that offers sonic travelers a glimpse into the band's live shows, which range from improvised, highly-charged late-night sets to laidback chill sessions. The one vocal track, "Wanderlust," features sultry and soulful Laura Reed at the microphone and reveals that Sci Fi still has numerous musical options. This is a promising debut from a band that has clearly issued a challenge to such scene veterans as the Disco Biscuits and Particle.

Track Listing:
1) Intro
2) Classical Dub
3) Mid Tide
4) Ragus
5) Align
6) Front St.
7) Akimbo
8) Wanderlust
9) Listen to What We Say
10) Jeb
11) Click
12) Zen Groove
13) Bass Outro

Added: November 3rd 2008
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Sci Fi Web Site
Hits: 3732
Language: english

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Sci Fi: Sci Fi
Posted by Richard Barnes, SoT Staff Writer on 2008-11-03 18:36:32
My Score:

This new 3-piece from North Carolina bring with them a surprising freshness for a band touting round an old fashioned hippy etiquette. You can find influences from Calypso, funk, reggae and techno here; Marley, Orbital, Chick Corea and Gorillaz sit comfortably alongside Steve Hillage and the Ozrics. The band comprise keyboards, bass and drums with guests on guitars and saxes.

A musical box opening and piano overture belies what is to come on this album. "Classical dub" has a voiceover radio announcer talking about a UFO sighting carried over a mellow reggae beat with accordion and organ carrying the rhythm. "Mid Tide" continues the bouncy dance floor beat while shifting up a gear and introducing swirling Hammond organ and flute to the mix. "Ragus" is a steadily throbbing jazz-tinged jam with flowery ornamentation which could chill out a moose on heat whilst "Align" could be a Carlos Santana composition from the late 70s. Although it may drop down a gear or two sometimes as it does at the end of this track, the one constant throughout the album is a fun, infectious joy for rhythm and dance which carries along all the varying influences like a conveyor belt for the array of musical styles.

"Front St" is perhaps the most traditionally jazz styled but again the powerful bass and flittering synth effects keep it nicely off centre. "Akimbo" is a loose jam in danger of going nowhere until it suddenly shifts into psychedelic mode in the middle of the track. Vocals appear in "Wanderlust" where the soulful tones of Laura Reed complement the bass groove and lounge jazz feel. A poppy piano figure pervades the next bright and breezy piece while "Jeb" turns in a lively bit of electronica with vocal samples blended into the electric piano and synth textures. Could just be my favourite on the album this one. "Zen Groove"'s shimmering Hammond organ chords dominate the final piece before, appropriately, the melodic and ever-present driving bass gets the chance to say goodbye in the outro.

Hmm, …party music with a brain. More please.

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