An assured KPM masterclass, with a dream team line-up of contributors: Brian Bennett, Alan Hawkshaw and John Fiddy.
The Fiddy-penned numbers are sumptuously string-led and pleasingly light. What we're treated to essentially, is floaty soft-psych underpinned by a solid groove, particularly evident on the sweeping “Taste For Living” and "Fresh Start". If you're into Koushik and those early Manitoba/Caribou records - and you should be - you'll be certain to appreciate these.
Unsurprisingly, the Bennett and Bennett/Hawkshaw stuff is on another level entirely and the highlights are many and memorable. Strident opener "Capitol City" oscillates between driving funk and downbeat, sentimental flavours. “Name Of The Game” is tough, smokin’ funk, famously sampled back in 2007 by Madlib for Percee P’s “Who With Me”. The tense “Dossier” has a dramatic atmosphere all of its own, and has been used to great effect in scoring countless NFL films. The swaggering horn-fuelled funk of "Bop On The Rocks" knocks hard whilst the pacey "Full Throttle" features a guitar solo with some of the nastiest, about-to-explode fuzz you’re ever likely to hear.
Originally produced exclusively for use by film and TV studios and never commercially released, library records have long been a goldmine for the collector and sampler alike. The music was created to evoke moods, situations and emotional responses and, at it’s best, it was truly extraordinary. Creative and futuristic, it is now regarded as some of most inventive music of its time.
Crafted by the some of the greatest musical minds of the late 20th century, these expert musicians and innovative composers revelled in the freedoms offered, paradoxically, by this most corporate of fields, indulging themselves in ways they couldn’t on records made for general release. The calibre of the musicians certainly raised the bar, too. Robin Phillips, who ran KPM in its heyday, wanted only the best. “You couldn’t do an album of the quality Robin demanded without the A-team,” as Brian Bennett recently recalled.