Take London

Take London

by The Herbaliser
     
 

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Take London is going to have listeners asking why two of England's foremost beatheads would want to attempt a live project. In fact, although Jake Wherry and Ollie Teeba had been sample spotters and rap boosters without peer in England's beat community -- arguably matched only by Ninja Tune label heads

Overview

Take London is going to have listeners asking why two of England's foremost beatheads would want to attempt a live project. In fact, although Jake Wherry and Ollie Teeba had been sample spotters and rap boosters without peer in England's beat community -- arguably matched only by Ninja Tune label heads Jonathan More and Matt Black of Coldcut -- their live shows as the Herbaliser exuded a bohemian character, more Portobello Road than the East End, replete with a horn section and much time for on-stage jamming. It must have been a natural choice to simply invite the live band into the studio when recording began for their fifth production LP, but the decision does make rating the record a challenge. Something Wicked This Way Comes, from 2002, expanded the Herbaliser's sound into free-form territory without sacrificing their knack for floating deadly hooks and recruiting excellent rappers, but on this record the raps are fewer and farther between. Fortunately, the musicians and arrangers do pick up the slack. The brass-band contributions to the first song ("Nah'mean Nah'm Sayin'") are noticeably lumbering, but the rest of the instrumental material offers production and sound neatly matching the sources Herbaliser and others plundered during the '90s and 2000s. "Gadget Funk" is a monster electro jam that only takes Bambaataa and Zapp as influences, then transforms them into a free-for-all where brass, synthesizers, and percussion all vie for supremacy on their respective solos. Likewise, although it's quite cheeky for the group to offer up "Geddim'!!" as an original (it's actually an uncredited cover of Stan Getz and Eddie Sauter's "I'm Late, I'm Late"), the guys add so many elements -- strings, scratching, even a Bogart sample -- that by the end, jazz fans will be ready to forgive all sins. It's true that the rappers are given short shrift here, but the single "Generals" features a slew of great rhymes, and the underexposed Jean Grae appears on no less than four tracks (Roots Manuva is the other high-profile feature included). Ninja Tune fans may not have wished to hear a crucial production unit like the Herbaliser going down the same road already traveled by the Cinematic Orchestra and Chris Bowden, but the talents of all involved (especially Wherry and Teeba) put this record over the top.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/31/2005
Label:
Ninja Tune
UPC:
0625978199824
catalogNumber:
998
Rank:
300050

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Herbaliser   Primary Artist
Ellen Blair   Viola
Cheech Marin   Vocals
Micky Moody   Drums
Andrew Ross   Flute,Saxophone
Pete Eckford   Percussion
Nigel Wallace Price   Guitar,Electric Bass,Rhythm Guitar
Kaidi Tatham   Keyboards,fender rhodes,Mini Moog,Moog Bass
Adam Phillips   Guitar
Roots Manuva   Vocals
Ollie Parfitt   Organ,Keyboards
Ollie Teeba   scratching
Jake Wherry   Guitar,Piano,scratching,Keyboards,Clavinet,Acoustic Bass,fender rhodes,Mini Moog,Moog Bass,Arp Odyssey
DJ Miss T   Vocals
Burak Agca   Guitar
Jean Grae   Vocals
Ralph Lamb   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Gill Morley   Violin
Carsten Skov   Vibes
MacGuyver   Vocals
Daddy Mills   Vocals
Trap Clappa   Vocals

Technical Credits

Chris Bowden   String Arrangements
Easy Access Orchestra   Horn Arrangements
Ollie Teeba   Arranger,Composer,Programming,Producer,Artwork,String Arrangements,Audio Production
Jake Wherry   Arranger,Programming,Producer,Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements,Audio Production
Mary Katherine   Composer
Chris Ratcliffe   Video Director
Barney Trattles   Logo

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