King Kooba Indian Summer

The UK duo of Matt Harris and Charlie Tate seems to have been listening to a lot of Jazzanova since their last recording, and this is a very good thing. The duo's last record, Nufoundfunk, was a hip-hop and funk-fused collage that hit hard in certain areas but ultimately fell short of expectations. This time around, the two have sharpened their skills and crafted a beautiful mixture of soul, hip-hop and house, and in the process they seem to have released a more complete sounding effort. Cuts like "Honey Locust" and "A Man Like Andre" are lush sounding and carry a good dose of horns and strings to accompany the Brazilian house beats, which are reminiscent of Minus 8 and the Truby Trio. A real treat is when Roots Manuva graces us with his lyrical presence over warm hip-hop tones on "Barefoot," giving further proof that Rodney seems to be able to light up any track he flows over. Vocal efforts also come from a variety of female lyricists that sometimes wield some dodgy results. Nomvula Malinga winds up making a couple of tracks come off as corny R&B cuts and really spoils the mood. Thankfully, Cleo Bailey turns the car around and presents one of the finer tracks on the record, "You Don't Know," a soulful joint that brings the head into a nodding state. The great thing about Indian Summer is that it follows a flow from start to finish and seems to be much more focused than Nufoundfunk. It's good to see Harris and Tate have patched up their past mistakes. (Om)