Album: Coldcut <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

Sound Mirrors, NINJA TUNE
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The Independent Culture

"Far from the regular nothing you're used to, them kind of style is shock and spruce too," claims Roots Manuva admiringly of Coldcut's Jon More and Matt Black on "True Skool", one of the better tracks on Sound Mirrors. He's over-stating the case, though; decent as the album is, it's hard to believe this is by the same duo whose pioneering sample-collages paved the way for The Prodigy and Chemical Brothers: there's never a suggestion that one might hear something here as jaw-droppingly different as their landmark remix of Eric B & Rakim's "Paid In Full". On the contrary, there's a refined, discreet tone to these pieces, perhaps occasioned by the need to accommodate guest singers as varied as Jon Spencer, Saul Williams, saxist Soweto Kinch and Seventies art-rock synthesist Annette Peacock. Spencer adds a distinctive Blues Explosion grind-groove to "Everything Is Under Control" - with the drum programme doing a good impression of Russell Simmins - while Kinch takes an articulate swipe in "Aid Dealer" at the financial aid structures crippling Third World countries. Like the music, it's both agreeable and hardly news.

DOWNLOAD THIS: 'True Skool', 'Everything Is Under Control', 'Colours The Soul'