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James Kent

a groovin' head trip through lush organic downtempo

One artist who fits the image of the modern psychedelic Renaissance man is San Francisco's Galen Butler, also known as Shakatura. Butler recently released an eponymous titled debut from Shakatura on Ceiba Records, and it is probably one of my favorite albums of the year. Grooving with an organic house vibe from start to finish, Shakatura booms and rolls with lush bass lines, phat breaks, and swirling synths that bloom and sting with simultaneous hints of Eros and menace.

While moving through various downtempo moods and spaces Shakatura steps and swings along with ease, always maintaining an entirely chilled out demeanor, unafraid to get comfortable in a specific zone and just roll with the flow for a while. Yet within the meaty grooves lie the deep processes of time passing, planets spinning, life evolving, each bathed in the ever-present electro-harmonic radiance that ties it all together. Even when sober there are parts of Shakatura that leave me envisioning the elegant dance of intracellular process, the tiny wet machinery of life metabolizing through time at the bio-molecular level. It is a soothing yet endlessly fascinating pulse, flowing and combusting along with the organic groove of life. And if your booty stays still while listening to it you are probably dead.

Although shakatura is hard to classify it is very easy to listen to. It embraces the best aspects of both downtempo and beatless ambient spaces into tight organic grooves that keep pumping, moving, and rolling to the end. The entire album swings with consistent breakbeat chill and trippy soundscapes, and will definitely enjoy heavy rotation on your sound system.

  • Read an interview with Shakatura's Galen Butler
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    Tags : psychedelic
    Rating : Teen - Drugs
    Posted on: 2002-08-02 00:00:00