Music: Thunderball – Scorpio Rising

by robNtime

Drum’n’Bass in Technicolor.

Founded by the Thievery Corporation, Eighteenth Street Lounge music (ESL), has developed quite an impressive reputation for the chic downbeat sound in the realm of bossa nova breaks. Thunderball has pumped out another slick ESL release of beats and treats for your aural pleasure: “Scorpio Rising.”

“Heart of the Hustler” is the opener and a killer one at that. Paying homage to the 70’s pimpin’ and slingin’ you can’t help but smile when soulful Vocalist Mustafa Akbar sings “It ain’t funny…..when you don’t have my money” over the drum’n’bass beats and simple yet bumpin’ bass line.

The next few tracks don’t necessarily grab my Interest: “Vai Vai” has amicable LTJ Bukem style beats and atmospherics. However, there are too many synths that sound like the horrific string section in that disturbing disco rendition of Beethoven’s 5th. “Sapphire” has great thick baselines, but I wasn’t necessarily feeling the vocals. Also one needs to be in the right mood to hear the cheesy Santana-style guitar (only he can get away with it).

Thunderball’s production really shines in the downbeat tracks “Stereo Tonic” and “Vibrations.” Stereo Tonic’s crisp breaks sound much like a Tosca’s “Chocolate Elvis” remix and will have you grooving in your Lounge-mobile. Appropriate sitar work by Rob Myers and addictive vocal chants by Akil Baker seal the deal as deeming this the most appealing track on the album. A close second is Vibration with Terranova style beats, a harrowing flute, stellar scratching by Niv, and a bass line that seems to come from an Atari 2600 cartridge. These two songs alone are reason to acquire this album and will both stand out on any downtempo mix tape.

“Solar” somehow works, beautiful singing by Miss Johnna M. with seamless transitions between slow tempo and drum’n’bass beats. This is a solid album- though I do prefer their previous “Ambassadors of Style” release over this one. However, Scorpio rises high enough for you to live vicariously through the pimpin’ life style of a hustler.

  • Music: Thunderball – Scorpio Rising
  • by robNtime
  • Published on August 1st, 2001
Scorpio Rising
Eighteenth Street Lounge Music
Sept 2001

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