Album Reviews

Dr Rubberfunk – The First Cut

(GPS) UK release date: 13 October 2003

Dr Rubberfunk - The First Cut

The beats are tough, and there’s funk-a-plenty with The First Cut, Dr Rubberfunk‘s debut album. Within its field, this release has been eagerly anticipated. Rubberfunk’s previous releases attracted attention throughout the industry – indeed the likes of Mr Scruff have been swift to praise the DJ.

The medicine starts with B-Boy Blue, the large beat and snappy brass invite a guitar to join in the fun, and that it does well. By the time the creative and humorous use of samples have brought the first song to a close, you are left excited at the prospect of 12 songs of equal originality, and invention.

Latin Player is another example of the originality this record possesses. Complex Latin rhythms are fused with traditional dance synths and standard dance beats to fantastic effect. Indeed, this attention to detail can be found throughout the album. Although each track has something new to offer, be sure to expect the same soulful, surging bass, and pounding breakbeat rhythms throughout.

The previously released Step On It is a manifestation of Old Skool speed jazz. The lower frequencies are provided via the medium of double bass, adding a variety and live feel to the song.

Unfortunately, the album isn’t without its negative points, minor though they are. The lack of vocals can sometimes detract from the excitement of the album, and for some, this will be a total turn-off. There are samples which solve the problem to a certain degree in that they add a certain something to the tracks. However, their use is sparse, and so there are moments where the music seems to be getting a little, dare it be said, boring – but only in the weakest sense of the word.

It is with open arms then, that Bossa For The Devil is welcomed, being as it is with vocals. Once again, the bass is strong, and by now, the funk-o-meter is positively gauging… Funky! The Doctor’s debut boasts diverse instrumentation, making sure its listener is kept satisfied. The broad range of instruments are produced very well, and the mix sounds crisp and clear.

Every so often, records come along that progress and breathe new life into their genre. To be perfectly frank, this album is exciting and although it may get monotonous in some places, the creativity here far surpasses the blemishes. Frivolous funk on an innovative debut from a doctor who really does know best.

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Dr Rubberfunk – The First Cut