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Dance & Electronic 2011: 20 Best Albums

Page 10

Dance & Electronic 2011: 20 Best Albums
10. Africa Hitech 93 Million Miles (Warp)
It's a descriptive name and Mark Pritchard and Steve Spacek more than deliver on it. In a year that the second coming of dubstep produced so many bro-like sounds, 93 Million Miles delivered both hard and smooth beats. There's no mistaking the pulse of this music ― if you want to dance, here's a case where the syncopations are as important as bedrock 808 sounds. Some three decades plus after their invention, these synthetic rhythms have the feel of folk sounds that have been around for centuries. The stuff you might fear from such a project is largely absent ― that is, piles of pounding, multitracked hand percussion, majestic voices calling out the spirits and grand pronouncements of "we are all one." Instead Spacek's versatile voice croons subtly and a very deft and restrained soul mood pervades everything, especially in the beatific album closer "Don't Fight It." At the other end of the spectrum, "Out In The Streets" absolutely lacerates Damian Marley and Ini Kamoze and its footwork style rhythm is serious dance floor business. The complex polyrhythms of Future Africa reveal traces of the South, East and West parts of the continent's rhythmic languages but reconfigured into android rhythms.
David Dacks

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