Although this is actually an older release by the group, I felt like reviewing it simply because it's smooth as butta (or margarine) and if you like Ninja Tune and/or Shadow releases, this simply needs to be in your collection. Although it's also been released as a single disc version, the 2CD collection of tracks is the way to go in order to hear nearly two hours worth of laid-back, smooth grooves that will swish you up and rinse you down. Sure, it's a vague sort of a concept album built around the use of porn samples (something that's been beat to death in electronic music), but this is one that works because it's tasteful for the most part and the samples (and even cheesy elements of porn music itself) that are used have been added in a way that's more subtle.
After a rather silly intro track, the disc starts right into thing with the swagger of "B Monkey." After starting out with the static pops of a tesla coil warming up, the disc drops off into a laid-back beat with some nice horn flavorings. As the titled may suggest, the next track on the disc ("Dubble") delves into a smidge of dub sounds, but definitely with a unique flavor.
After rolling through 5 tracks and almost 30 minutes of laid-back grooves, the disc changes things up a bit with "King Ashabanapal Part 2." While the first part of the track falls into the aforementioned deep groove numbers, the second part of the track clicks things up a few notches into a spaced-out drum and bass number. From there out, the disc returns to the mid to slow tempo grooves of before, including the drifting intro of "The Softest Thing In The World" and the twinkling closer of "Long Road."
With the second disc, you get more of the same, with a little bit more quirk. "King Ashabanapal" shows up two more times in remixed form (by Plaid and Lord Dat) and several tracks take off in a little bit different direction. "Suck Acid, Pearl & Dean" is a stereophonic mess of trumpet blasts, skittering drums, and radar blips while "Tales Of One Speed" adds a bit of a tribal feel to the proceedings. The two-disc effort closes out with the hilarious "Farewell Alice," an ode to Carroll's Alice In Wonderland that changes tempo's and overall feel as often as the samples the fuel it.
Overall, this disc is a classic from the Ninja Tune and Shadow discography that really should be a prerequisite buy for anyone interested in the midtempo beats that the label has become known for. It's sometimes hypnotic, sometimes fun, and many times very seductive sounding. Need I say more?