Quantic – Magnetica

Ridiculously prolific, Will Holland aka Quantic has apparently released 17 albums in various guises (Quantic, Quantic Soul Orchestra, The Limp Twins, Combo Bárbaro), and remixed umpteen tracks, all before his 35th birthday. He is a music man from head to toe, an aficionado who literally consumes it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And not only that, but he's explored and immersed himself in all sorts of styles from around the globe; from his early love of electronic and vintage funk to the more recent afro-latin offerings, his love of the locked-in groove is apparent in practically all his recordings.
Magnetica sees a return to the sole use of the Quantic moniker, the first time since 2006's 'An Announcement To Answer' (although his 2012 'Look Around the Corner' album was billed as Quantic and Alice Russell, an album of collaborations with his favourite soul singer), representing a sort of amalgamation of everything he has done style wise. From the opening early hip hop beats meets psychedelic soul of the instrumental album opener 'Magnetic' to the dreamy Brazilian psychedelic bossa-pop of 'Painting Silhouettes', Holland indulges throughout, largely recording with a core team of Columbian musicians, but with a long list of guest vocalists plus other musicians brought in here and there to magic up the required sounds and styles.
Every track has its merits, and every track is more or less built on a groove that repeats itself throughout; from the incessant latin dance rhythms a la 'Descarga Cuantica', which rub shoulders with the guitar and percussion orientated African grooves of several offerings here, including an inspired Angolan-Columbian melange in the form of 'Durido' which features Pongo Love on vocals; while the occasional reggae influenced song, such as the digital dub sounds of 'Strike It' – which features Shinehead on vocals – nestles neatly with the arabic flavours on tracks such as the deep and bassy 'Araba' and features Dereb The Ambassador on the mic. Then there's the ska-based and house music beats orientated instrumental stomper 'Sol Clap', the slightly melancholic and swampy african feel of 'Muevelo Negro', and the laid back and string laden bossa-nova grooves of Aguas de Sorongo.
Not everything works here – for instance, the rather ungainly and dreamy bluegrass orientated 'You Will Return' is perhaps an experiment too far at the moment – but all in all this is very well constructed album of largely mid-tempo grooves, a compilation of sorts, of the sounds and styles that Quantic has gathered over the years. Despite the plethora of global sounds, this is a relatively fluid exploration of music from Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and America, done with his usual big passionate love.
Jeff Hemmings
Website: www.quantic.org