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Soundtrack For Life

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Album Review

Bascom's focus on alternately earthy and atmospheric house belies the tremendously precise production sense on display for his first full-length. Though he's closest in sound to house and the more danceable end of '90s acid jazz (Faze Action, Beanfield, A Forest Mighty Black), Bascom's fusion of the impeccably produced, the thematically complex, and the musically diverse also places him as an inheritor of Detroit techno. As such, excellent Motor City producers like Derrick May and Carl Craig are the links to a jazz-funk-lite number like "Baghdad Cafe (Callin' U)," the electro tributes "My Planet Rocks" and "Synchronicity," and the interstellar techno-jazz meditation "Pluto." The vocal tracks, with contributions from Naomi N'Sembi and Rosina, are well-spaced and not overly indulgent (occasionally a problem on dance albums). Strong, clever production skills and a feel for musical variety that never sounds forced gives Soundtrack for Life a solid base that extends its attraction beyond repeated listenings.

Biography

Born: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Though most of his productions have appeared on Chicago labels, producer/DJ Austin Bascom is actually based in Toronto. Soaking up a variety of sounds in Canada's metropolitan hub, Bascom was influenced by not only house and techno but electro, soul, acid jazz, and hip-hop. He began releasing his material in 1995, and created a reputation for lush underground house with club favorites (recorded as Abacus) for two of Chicago's best-loved dance labels, Guidance and 83 West. In 1999, his first A:xus...
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Soundtrack For Life, A:Xus
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Contemporaries