Coldcut

Sound Mirrors (Ninja Tune)

It has been nearly ten years since Coldcut issued its last album, Let Us Play. The wait was worth it. Eschewing the cut-and-paste turntable antics of the duo's last album, Sound Mirrors pairs deep (if slightly glitchy) instrumentals over which a host of guests — from Ninja Tune stars like Roots Manuva to poets Saul Williams and Amiri Baraka (who, on "Boogieman," gives a surprisingly crazed reading reminiscent of his legendary jams with Sunny Murray and Albert Ayler) — lend animated performances. It is an elegantly schizoid affair, and covers the same genreless ground as past Coldcut efforts, but seems more restrained and mature in its appropriation of them. Tracks like Mpho Skeef's "This Island Earth," an environmental number molding grime beats with Skeef's heavenly house vocals, are masterful and wise. Now well into their forties, Jonathan More and Matt Black have groomed their Coldcut project into an institution.

 
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