4hero - "Creating Patterns" Album Reviewed

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11. 4hero Creating Patterns (Album - Talkin Loud)
When a band can boast that their album features guests such as Terry Callier, Jill Scott, Mark Murphy and Ursula Rucker and that the initial contact was made through the vocalists approaching them, rather than the usual reverse situation - it would seem, a valuable point has already been made.
Following on from 4heros last album, Two Pages, the plaudits flowed in. Acknowledged mutual admiration between 4hero and the likes of Jill Scott, led to the blinding jazz/drum&bass/soul crossover of Another Day. Likewise, legendary sixties jazz poet/singer Mark Murphy lent his unmistakable cool vocal and insightful words to the oriental and minimalist Twelve Tribes. And indeed, the even more legendary folk singer Terry Callier conversed on the gorgeous, string-laden, The Day Of The Greys.
But, Creating Patterns is about more than simply enlisting an impressive selection of contributors; its about two Londoners (Dego and Marc Mac) composing, performing and producing some of the most interesting broken beats and leftfield drum and bass/soul/jazz around.
Amongst the fifteen tracks featured on the album, there is no evidence of 4hero shying away from experimentation, hence the name. As Marc explained Its like a carpet. There are many patterns across this album.
Creating Patterns shows a lavish and luscious convergence of global influences, bringing together dramatic orchestral arrangements (the sixteen piece string and brass section on the monumental cover of the Minnie Rippeton track Les Fleur), laid-back shuffling jazz (Time) and up-tempo, instrumental breaks (Blank Cells).
This album is aeons ahead and aeons away from the drum and bass style with which the duo began many years ago. Its a glorious melting pot of styles and sounds; you could say, much more of a Wilton than a coconut mat.
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