QUANTIC: Magnetica (Tru Thoughts)


Quantic is one of the recording alter egos of British musician Will Holland. Holland has produced music in a number of guises – notably as The Quantic Soul Orchestra and Combo Barbaro, outlets for his soul-tinged experimentation with Colombian music. He’s also worked successfully in tandem with Alice Russell, Flowering Inferno and Soundway, but for this latest project we find Will/Quantic going back to his electronic roots. But before soul folk switch off, they’ll need to know that there are one or two cuts here that might merit investigation.

First up there’s ‘You Will Return’. This one features the aforementioned Alice Russell, a great soul vocalist, of course and she lends her art to a complex tune that blends soul sensitivities with folksy flavours. An oddity, yes, but an oddity that works. The there’s the instrumental that’s ‘Sol Clap’ –great beats and some off the wall brass (hints of the Astor’s ‘Candy’).

Elsewhere, well, lots of electronica – but electronica spiced up with Latin beats, jazzy piano and swaying afro rhythms while the hypnotic ‘Spark It’ has all the brash swagger of the Caribbean about it. Then there’s ‘Playing Silhouettes’ –the oddest sound on the album. It’s eerie with a whiff of West Coast 60s about it, though its roots are clearly in English folk whimsy. I said an “oddest sound for the album”. But maybe not. There are lots of oddities here, but taken together, they all gel.

(BB) 3/5