King Kooba Enter the Throne Room

King Kooba main men Charlie Tate (bassist for Neneh Cherry) and Matt Harris (aka DJ Shuff) know how to integrate their ingredients and musical elements. Together with the musicians who form the live band version of King Kooba, as well as a number of guest vocalists, Tate and Harris have whipped up a super tasty blend of cinematic future funk. The album kicks off with the atmospheric drum & bass of "Bitro;" complete with live and programmed beats, subtle keys and snake-like sax snippets, the song's dark, jazzy sounds recall the work of Red Snapper and Barry Adamson. "California Suite" is a smooth, lush and undeniably seductive slice of downtempo. With programming reminiscent of early Massive Attack and rich, chunky bass, the track builds gorgeously around the stunning vocals of Esther Phillips. Darker d&b is represented well with "Fraternity," a catchy dance floor number featuring deep bass lines, straight ahead programming and the ragga vocals of the band's own MC Chickaboo. Band member Simon Richmond's (a.k.a. Mo' Wax artist Palmskin Productions) influence can be also be felt, particularly in the funky and thick-like-molasses downtempo of "Pugwash Beats" which he co-wrote. King Kooba sound just as comfortable in horror movie moody mode with the artfully creepy drum & bass of "Catscratch" as they do in the creation of the positively pretty "Koobesq." Enter The Throne Room, the band's second full-length to date, is an accomplished and original whole that simply must be tasted. (Second Skin Unit)