Nic Gill (aka Fugitive Elf) isn't a stranger to the recording studio -- he has recorded as half of the electronica duo Urchin and released the odd single both under his own name and as a part of Chris Bangs' Original Soulboy collective -- but this is his debut full-length as a solo artist. Experience tells: Gill's long apprenticeship has given him not only solid mixing skills but also a breadth of taste that stands him in excellent stead on Soulbound. The grooves are always muscular but never frenetic; on tracks like the bustling "Cargo" and the chilly "Ice Caves," listeners are treated to funk that moves the hips irresistibly without provoking a headache at the same time. Then there's the sense of humor evident in his sampling, especially on the faintly eery "Creepy Place." Gill's scratching is better than fair, but not earth-shaking; what stands out on this debut album is his ability to sustain a consistent atmosphere without succumbing to mindless repetition. Highly recommended.