More Grip
Record label: Palm Pictures
Format: CD
Release date: 18 July 2000

A wise person once said, "as above, so below." The fickle music fans that exist above ground are the same ones you'll find within the under. Don't believe me? Find somebody who's still talking about the Asian underground with as much enthusiasm as they did three or four years ago. When's the last time you heard Talvin Singh's name fall from someone's lips? Tablas and sitars clashing with drum and bass has seemingly run its course. It's as if the craze was over before it began. Then folks were off to find "the next big thing." Enter Sidestepper, a project spearheaded by producer Richard Blair. Inspired by his three-year bid in Bogota, Columbia, Blair's current hybrid has been coined "21st Century Salsa." As with the sounds of the Asian underground, the rumble of drum and bass supplies a pedestal for these traditional Latin rhythms. Still, it's nothing that catches you right away; it is necessary to spend time with this. Once it's a part of your system, a number of the tracks signify a marriage made in Heaven. Both salsa and jungle speak fluent polyrhythms. Plus this makes for a good alternative from the darker techstep platters that are all the rage these days. Listen to "La Bara," "Hoy Tenemos," "Chevere Q' Chevere," "Sidestepper," and "Campo" to get your feet wet.


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