Thursday, May 6, 2010

NOW Magazine Music Reviews

NOW May 6-13, 2010 VOL 29 NO 36

Circle Research
Gardiner Express

By Andrew Rennie

DJ/production duo Circle Research have held court in Toronto’s rap scene for ages via CKLN’s Circle Research mix show. They now move from radio to stereo with an album that’s perfect for summer nights spent on the balcony, patio, stoop or any place that isn’t the club. Its 17 tracks interpret the duo’s influences – classic soul to new jack swing to Detroit hip-hop – with tactful idiosyncrasy.

Neither a beat tape nor avant-garde instrumentalism, Gardiner Express sounds more like a stripped-down rap or neo-soul album, thanks to spacey vocal numbers like With You. The group’s also capable of crafting engrossing, multi-textured beats that work comfortably without live accompaniment. The dubby, sample-heavy closer Stop, Look… Listen To Your Heart is the standout track.