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The Best of Quantic

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Album Review

DJ Quantic is more than just an obsessive crate-digger; his decade-long quest to locate and document the roots of the music he loves has finally led him to settle in Cali, Colombia, so as to be able to spend more time working directly with that city's vibrant music scene. The 32 tracks on this two-disc retrospective gather together some of the fruits of his long musical labors, many of which reflect a growing fascination with Latin America while others dig into vintage funk, soul, and reggae sounds. You'll hear skittering orchestral funk with soulful female vocals (the great Spanky Wilson on "I'm Thankful"), a sort of Latin-jazz-reggae hybrid ("Linda Morena," credited to Quantic & His Combo Barbaro), lush orchestral strings with pentatonic piano noodlings ("The Dreaming Mind, Pt. 1"), and straight-up reggae ("Dog with a Rope"). Interestingly, you'll also encounter some mediocre thudding Latin house ("Sol Clap"), a subtle electronic deconstruction of a dynamic cumbia groove ("Cumbia Clash"), and a couple of brilliant appearances by the British retro-soul singer Alice Russell, whose contributions on "Pushin' On" and, especially, the brilliantly stripped-down "Left & Right" are two of the album's highlights. A collection like this is bound to be somewhat uneven, but this one is an unusually varied grab bag of musical pleasures.


Formed: 2000 in England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

British DJ and producer Will Holland (aka Quantic) played guitar in various rock bands as a teenager, but it was his subsequent switch to house and broken beat that helped launch his musical career, especially after the 7" recording "We Got Soul" arrived in 2000. (Quantic is also part of Quantic Soul Orchestra, as well as the soul-folk-dance duo the Limp Twins.) In 2001, Quantic's full-length debut, The 5th Exotic, was released by the Tru Thoughts label, followed one year later by Apricot Morning....
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