Five X Five is an album of tracks produced by Ghanian ex-pat, Frank Ed, and rescued from 1994 by Toronto’s Invisible City Editions. Across a range of tempos, the 10 tunes tap into UK street soul, swingbeat, and rap. The post-DAISY age British-accented cadence on songs such as Freestylin` and The Good Times recalling that of contemporaries like The Gutter Snypes and The Brotherhood. Naughty By Nature and The Pharcyde get name-dropped, and the cavernous 808 sound system boom on the hip hop mix of Jazz Maiden echoes the Wild Bunch`s landmark rework of Eric B & Rakim`s Move The Crowd. Beats get borrowed from KMD.
However, the bulk of the instrumental takes also boast a Mediterranean, Balearic even, feel. They could easily be mistaken for the “loved-up” slo-mo b-sides of `90s Italian “scream ups” – stuff, for example, like Johnny Parker’s Love It Forever, Mr. Marvin’s Entity. Drum machines are accompanied by Art Of Noise-like vocal samples, sighs and synthesized strings – think King Sun`s classic, Hey Love. Keys are tuned to brass, and almost accordion, sounds. Faux flutes flutter. Cool vibes tumble through chilled Tubular Bell-like chimes. The overriding mood of this musical magic is that of Movement 98 / Ibiza 90, Action AJ, and Cafe del Mar favourites, The Bygraves. The set’s highly recommended for fans of all of the above, and also for those into the recent V4 Visions: Of Love & Androids compilation on Numero Group.
Accura`s Five X Five is out now, on Invisible City Editions.