Bobby Previte / Charlie Hunter Come In Red Dog, This Is Tango Leader

Bobby Previte is no stranger to concept albums featuring technology. His albums for Gramavison during the ’80s were large-scale suites, adeptly combining the sonic effects of a medium-sized orchestra with his varied drum styles. Hunter has bent technology to his will: his custom made eight-string guitar allows for guitar, bass and keyboard like passages. Come in Red Dog, This Is Tango Leader seems like a natural project for both: a duet of drum- and string-triggered samples in a groove context. The motivation to groove undoubtedly made this more attractive for Ropeadope records to put out — it's a label that specialises in bent grooves. These are live, off the floor jams, with no overdubbing. Unfortunately, no amount of happy drugs can make up for the fact that Previte's the wrong man for the job here. His style has never been overly fluid — his charm is his boxiness. While he conjures up an interesting array of sonics, he just can't drop the hammer and groove out with any conviction. He'll maintain it for a minute or two, but then fall off. If Hunter were to inject a little more freedom into what he's doing, it would help, but he's more conventionally rhythmic and is more used to this technological setup. This would sound better with an audience kicking them in the ass. (Ropeadope)