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Album Review

Tommy Yamaha and Martin Kaiser first joined forces in 1990 in Nuremberg, where they quickly gained a solid reputation as DJs and purveyors of all-around quirky breakbeat and downtempo electronica. On Playtime, their third full-length album, the overarching influence is reggae with a healthy dollop of hip-hop thrown into the mix as well. Not every track is perfect — Playtime opens awkwardly with the funky but strangely monotonous "Playtime Theme," and "It's on U" features unexceptional vocals by one Eddie Greene — but most of them come very close. The highlights are those songs that feature MC Blaze, a young female rapper who is equally at home riding the rhythm old-school style and chatting in a more modern, aggressive vein. Then there's the pumping mid-tempo strut of "Outer Space," which showcases the smooth vocal talents of Cyrena Dunbar and manages simultaneously to sound spacy, earthy, funky, and soothing. On "Deeper One" the duo delivers a swinging, subtly dubwise instrumental of beguiling complexity. Very, very nice.


Genre: Dance

Years Active: '00s

A German duo, Martin Kaiser and Tommy Yamaha, based in Nuremberg. Their sound has been described as blending 70s funk and 80s electro, with the UK’s DJ magazine describing them as the missing link between Basement Jaxx and Daft Punk. Their Selected Funks was originally available in small numbers on their own Nuax label in 1998 and was played by a diverse range of DJs such as ‘Tall’ Paul Newman, C.J. Bolland and Slam. It was picked up by London-based label Wall Of Sound and given a full UK...
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Playtime, The Strike Boys
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