ISSUE #8 FEB 06

David Wright

London Elektricity
"Billion Dollar Gravy"

9th June 2005
Album Cover reviewer: David Wright
rating: 5 out of 5
published by: Hospital Records
released: 26th May 2003
  1. Billion Dollar Gravy
  2. Different Drum
  3. Fast Soul Music
  4. 2 Be Me
  5. Great Drum + Bass Swindle, The
  6. Cum Dancing
  7. Main Ingredient
  8. Harlesden
  9. My Dreams
  10. Born To Synthesize
  11. Syncopated City

'Billion Dollar Gravy' is the follow up album to London Elektricity’s widely acclaimed first album 'Pull The Plug', released in July 1999. Billion Dollar Gravy follows on from 'Pull the Plug'’s Drum and Bass, Jazz, Funk and Hip Hop influences and combines them to produce an altogether more dancefloor orientated style of music.

The album opens with the title track 'Billion Dollar Gravy', a very organic sounding piece of electronic music, with a solid upbeat rhythm sustained from the start. It sets the level for the entire album; organic and funky. Following on is 'Different Drum', a vocal number featuring the vocal talents of Robert Owens. Again another upbeat track, but with orchestral overtones. Moving into the middle of the album we get three tracks: 'Fast Soul Music', which is exactly what it says, dance music for the soul; 'To Be Me', a simple piece of Drum and Bass, with a nice horn lick running in the background; and 'The Great Drum and Bass Swindle', a track heavily laced with funk and horns and drawing on the earlier samples and sounds from 'Pull The Plug'.

'Cum Dancing' has been around for a while in the clubs, played out by the likes of Andy C, Pascal and DJ Zinc - yet it loses none of its enthusiasm for having been played so much. For me 'Main Ingredient' is one of the weaker tracks on the album despite it's name. It’s a pretty generic sounding track, just lacking a certain something, despite the quality of its production and vocals supplied by the excellent Lianne Carrol.

Towards the end of the album we’re greeted with some slower, more atmospheric music, but not before we get 'Harlesden', a track named after the area it was produced in. A groovy little number, with some nice atmospherics running throughout. 'My Dreams' is next: a track that was first released on 12” in 2001, featuring vocals from Robert Owens, and a quality Chicago House sound. It’s an eclectic track; squeezed into seven and a half minutes, widely recognised across many genres, this is possibly the strongest track on the album.

We finish with 'Born to Synthesise', another vocal track with Lianne Carrol (a personal favourite), and 'Syncopated City', both showing obvious R'n'B influences, yet still manage to be true to the album and not stray too far from the blueprint.

All in all this is an accomplished collection of tracks with Tony Coleman showing the Drum and Bass heads how to make a proper album. One that will sit nicely in the background of a bar, or likewise be cranked up full volume at a party, and a must for anyone looking to sample the best that Drum and Bass music has to offer.

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