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Album review: Menahan Street Band, The Crossing (Dunham/Daptone)


An instrumental unit associated with the Daptone organisation, the Menahan Street Band have proven a fertile sampling source for such as Jay-Z, Kid Cudi and 50 Cent, and it's not hard to tell why listening to the grooves on this latest album.

Featuring sombre mariachi-like trumpet fanfares over burring organ and damped guitar licks, there's a pronounced spaghetti-western flavour to tracks like "Driftwood" and "The Crossing", which lends itself well to the drama of hip-hop. Elsewhere, etiolated streaks of slide guitar colour "Seven Is the Wind", and "Three Faces" features several slick tempo changes behind its waspish synth line, while the title "Bullet for the Bagman" indicates the general cinematic territory occupied by the band.

Download: The Crossing; Three Faces; Lights Out