Sidestepper Buena Vibra Sound System

Sidestepper Buena Vibra Sound System
Richard Blair is back, kind of. Sidestepper’s first international release in four years is a collection of remixes from said four-year-old album, and further mixes from his eight-year-old international debut, More Grip. With regard to that album, Blair had hit upon a sound that married breaks and tough electronic sounds to Colombian rhythms so successfully it was difficult to separate the artificial from the natural sounds. Moreover, Sidestepper songs were just that: songs with verses, choruses and a big dose of descarga straight down the middle. Buena Vibra Sound System is remix-oriented and substitutes sampled ingredients for organic song development. The remixes are better when they radically change the source material, and most mixes don’t transport the originals anywhere new. He’s still got flavour — unreleased tracks "Que Sera” and "San Juan” are highlights of this continuous mix. Perhaps his Colombia-only release from last year, Continental, will be released worldwide soon so that a fair assessment of what he’s up to these days can be made. Buena Vibra Sound System won’t scare anyone off the dance floor but neither will it pack them in. (Palm)