Album: The 2 Bears, Be Strong (Southern Fried)

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The Independent Culture

The debut album from the alliance of sound engineer Raphael Rundell and Hot Chip chap Joe Goddard ignores the generic divisions that have dissected dance music in favour of a return to the eclectic groove-making of classic house music.

With feelgood lyrics of fellowship allied to pulsing electro twitches, Sister Bliss-style piano vamps, sample fragments and sunrise synthscapes, there's a flavour of The Beloved to "Warm & Easy" and "Bear Hug", while the slippery "Be Strong" has the air of an Ian Brown conscious anthem. There are even a couple of classic chill-out come-downs, courtesy of "Faith" and mantra-chant "Church", the religious theme also extending into "Time in Mind", a song about conscience whose folksy guitar and bongoes are the album's only mis-step.

DOWNLOAD THIS The Birds & the Bees; Be Strong; Bear Hug; Warm & Easy