The Start of Something Big
Record label: DMS Country Recordings
Format: 2XLP/CD
Release date: fall 2004

Avid music enthusiasts and audiophiles are often heard pitting their favorite method of music making against another: analog vs. digital, acoustic vs. electronic, programming vs. playing live and so forth. The duo known as Spymusic serves as a reminder that music is a universal language that can unite different methods in harmony and rhythm. The DJ/production expertise of Probe dms combined with the talents of classical/jazz piano virtuoso Jon Solo create a full-length debut that Probe describes as “an amalgamation of ghetto life, golf courses, and artistic freedom.” If I might elaborate further on that idea, this album is the audio equivalent of serving chitlins alongside champagne. It’s the feeling of doing a pimp strut in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria. Check the title track for further clarification, where a gorgeous string accompaniment and synth solo lay in the cut of a neck-snapping hip-hop beat. Halfway through, a flurry of scratches and cuts introduce Probe and Solo to the listening audience. This song is followed by “Cloak,” which was released as a single on the 2000 Black label. A solid midtempo number with a jazzy house slant, it’s possibly one of the most elegant and hypnotic songs to hit the streets this year. The musicianship throughout the album is top notch and the arrangements leave ample room for the soloists to shine. One would think that selections like “Spy,” “Super,” “Jon Solo,” and “Ode to KJ” could get the nod from “smooth jazz” stations in the States. These songs contain an element of class that can find its way onto their playlists, not to mention that they’re just the shot in the arm that some of those stations desperately need. Hopefully, the good people at DMS Country Recordings haven’t ruled out that sector of the airwaves in which to work their magic. After all, when you’re working an album entitled The Start of Something Big, pussyfooting just won’t do. Clearly the pimp strut is the only way to go…


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