red roses for me

"Aim is my music for the sun setting behind the green mountains of Vermont"

A quote from the sleeve of "Cold Water Music" the captivating debut album from one Andy Turner known here as Aim.

In my particular case, Aim is my music for the chill of winter that now fills the night-time air, the dead leaves twirling around outside and the season changing on the countryside that accompanies my journey to work each day. Quite simply this album couldn't appear at a better time: when hip hop is sadly equated with bad soul grooves or gangsta nonsense and labels like the once innovative Mo Wax have turned into the Emperor's new clothes with the excesses of the Unkle album. "Cold Water Music" skips joyfully between genres emerging on the other side as a unique and stunning debut and testament to Turner's skill as both a songwriter and producer.

The instrumental tracks take beats that would easily stand up on their own but here they're augmented by collages of sounds taking in harp, on the title track, to some almost Flamenco guitar on "Downstate" On top of that you have the chilling "Demonique" that comes on like the Wu-Tang Clan meeting The Omen with speech samples from the film "Halloween" creating a truly claustrophobic sound.

As one of the other tracks is entitled "True To Hip Hop" where the rap excursions are pitched and these also have a wealth of imagination and craft placed into the beats and breaks. In fact you could place them alongside those on labelmates Rae and Christian's benchmark "Northern Sulphuric Soul" album.

The other vocal track "Sail" features the chilled sounds of Katy Rogers and could be a close relative of "All I Need" from Air's "Moon Safari" but without the French duo's habit of sometimes resorting to style over substance. "Cold Water Music" consists of parts so strong that their sum is a triumph.

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