Mondo Grosso MG4

Mondo Grosso is the moniker for Japanese track master Shinichi Osawa, and MG4 is an immaculate work of art from start to end. Large collaborative efforts that are held together by some conceptual thread often end up promising bigger things than they can produce. This isn't the case with Osawa, who traverses every path from acid jazz, to Brazilian samba, Latin house and wicked two-step grooves. All the radical shifts in mood and rhythmic delivery happen flawlessly and the sounds on this release are always large and full - orchestral in their scale and deeply soulful in the mood conveyed. Osawa doesn't achieve this brilliance alone. He enlists the talents of vocalists such as Tania Maria, and Celso Viafora for the bossa nova-like tracks "MG4BB" and "Cenario" respectively. There is also a cool, inviting number from N'dea Davenport which soars in to fill the breath-taking beats. The predominantly featured vocalist on this is Monday Michiru who has intermittently contributed her powerful soul vocals to the likes of Basement Jaxx and United Future Organization. Here, she sings and does spoken-word material over Osawa's washing soundscapes. This album proves that Osawa is on par with counterparts such as Dream Teem and MJ Cole. His acid jazz and R&B sensibility as well as his experiments with the more tribal sounds, meld perfectly with his two-step efforts. With his label For Real records, exciting things are on the way from Mondo Grosso. (Sony)