Curtis Bay, Medium Rare (Tonguebath) CD

When music attempts to serve two masters the results are not often pleasing on the ear. Witness indie/dance or hip-house for example. What Curtis Bay managed to do on last year's debut was fuse a boatload of electronic genres with his own sax and mellow rapping in a seamless amalgam of juiced grooves, muted jazz, underplayed techno and hip hop. Even more incredibly, the songs were culled from 7 long years of making music without an outlet, but sounded highly contemporary.

Which brings us to this year's "Medium rare". Only spanning 4 years on this occasion and with less hip hop, but essentially turning the same trick so that we get jazzier Portishead, Junkyard Band (mid-80's, Def Jam) found-sound beats, drowsy trip hop, organic/acoustic electro and FSOL smooth electronics, again with tastefully minimal sax and a general ambient ambience to tie things together. Another superb record, but we have to wonder what other gems are in the Curtis Bay musical locker? P. O. Box 30755, Oakland, CA 94604,

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