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ALBERT'S FAVOURITES

A quartet of heavy reworks. Reginald Omas Mamode IV truly does what he does best, bringing a percussive, low-slung funk to one of the most ethereal and beautiful pieces of soul on the album, Sunshine.

Glenn Astro, elevates Bossa B to a jostling, bouncing shuffler that eventually turns around and heads skyward with uplifting chords and irresistible bass.

Deoke heads into the darker regions of the original for his hugely loved remix of Bossa B.

The bass on this one is ridiculous and has caused damage to a couple of sound systems we're aware of (genuinely).

Finally the ever exceptional Mr Beatnick simply took the stereo track for Kalimba 2 and edited it into a mind-opening dub. Handling bass and harmonics as only he can, a true highlight of this high quality remix package.

Drawing influences from Herbie Hancock, Idris Muhammad and Grover Washington. The single version of breakthrough is a unique, single-take arrangement of the full-length track from the forthcoming LP Murmuration.

A backbone of hip-hop-breaks influenced beats, accompanied by a jazz-funk infused sound played by some of the most in-demand players in the country.

Debut single Breakthrough introduced the insanely catchy but deeply soulful blend of synths and groove, but here on the album that is explored to the fullest with longer breakdowns and more expansive, experimental solos. Pocket 5 displays the, possibly unexpected, influences of broken beat and almost combative rhythm playing - particularly in the complex guitar and keys breakdown where Koor and O'Keefe layer conflicting time signatures and battle to ride it out to the heavy drum return.

Cannonball brings warm mellowness that delicately evolves through beats, touching on bossas alongside their fundamental hip-hop sensibilities. But even here there is a raucous zenith before the band sublimely recede into the silence of the a-side ending.

Colossal album highlight Ivory Mountain is truly an epic. Evoking moments of 4Hero, there is a lightness of groove in the first half of this soulful exploration. But at the halfway point, all restraint is let go as a live string section joins the four quarters of the band for three glorious minutes of soulful disco. Evoking sounds of Quincy Jones, George Benson and Johnny Hammond, all the way through to a beautifully cacophonous finale.

Dragonfly undoubtedly reflects on the work of Herbie Hancock and is the most direct throwback to the band's earlier work, which is a welcome marker of how far they have come. A quintessential jazz funker.

The album closes with the thoughtful and introverted shuffle of Miles Away. In the final eight minutes of Murmuration, The Expansions allow space and time to take precedence, with once-more-restrained peaks and developments. It becomes clear though, that the band cannot resist one last explosive finale, as they rise with screeching synths, strings and dubs for a perfect race to the finish line.

You can hear the influences of Idris Muhammad, Grover Washington, even parallels with South London peers Yussef Kamaal and Ruby Rushton. But The Expansions have tirelessly worked to create a sound of their own and are very proud, along with label Albert's Favourites, to finally share it. 


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