Fuzz Townshend
Far In - Fruition Records

There's something in the air, the sun is shining, the skies are blue, summer is here, how long for is anyone's guess, but while we have a record like this to listen to, who cares? Taking elements from all over the place, Bentley Rhythm Ace sticksman and avid bus fan Fuzz Townshend has come up with the goods, funky rhythms, cool samples and a great head for what's cool. Opener, 'Test Card' is a quirky bass-heavy romp, with a smooth jazz guitar and moog-like synth sounds. Picture yourself in an open topped sports car, the wind in your hair, the sun beating down as you speed along to Monte Carlo, or Cannes, with Vanessa Paradis in the passenger seat and Alain Dèlon in the back. This is what would be on the car radio!

Track two, 'Original Boom' is a rampant piece of big dub reggae, featuring the Beat's Ranking Roger on guest vocals, throwing in a slight sixties sound in the samples, this is guaranteed to have you shaking your stuff down to the ground, in the most positive sense! Track three, 'I have seen the light' is a cool jungle style bopper, following in a similar vein to Original Boom, with some great Soca rhythms and brass sounds. 'Smash It' comes next, very sixties, very groovy, Haight-Ashbury and Carnaby Street come to mind, then all of a sudden, the beat kicks in, and your socks are rocked off by the driving drummer. 'Bus' begins like a sci-fi theme, spooky keyboards and weird sounds, with a laid back hip-hop beat and hypnotic vocal, reminiscent of Shaun Ryder, and bobs along nicely, without really taking you anywhere; 'Bus' is the right title! 'Riviera should be a theme song for a remake of anything that starred Paul Newman or Steve Mcqueen. Funky, jerky and very much like the All seeing I, this is where Fuzz Townshend has it taped, he finds the right samples to go with the right beats, and you can't help tapping your foot and shimmying your shoulders to it.

Next up, 'Summertime' is another bass heavy piece, driven yet smooth, sparse and relaxed, like an afternoon on the sea wall, shades on, watching the world go by, sipping a cold beer, while the waves gently lap behind you. 'Boogie Too' comes hard and hot on the heels of 'summertime' a steady piece of techno, with a big dub bass, kicking you right back on the dancefloor where you belong. 'Get Yerself' is a wild sixties groove, reminiscent of what the Stones might have done if they'd had access to samplers and sequencers, a nice overdriven guitar sample, and Jagger-esque vocal making for a very cool piece of modern pop. 'My Day' is equal parts free-form Jazz exploration and Kraftwerk style technological pop, whilst 'Outside Wide' is happy and bouncy and features a Spanish guitar sample and light airy vocals. Again, you can't help yourself, you have to get up and boogie to this, and it calls you along, and tickles you under the chin until you give in to the beat. Single, 'Tasty Big Ed' is a big booming tune with what sounds like a piano sampled from 'Pinball Wizard'. Very tasty!

Title track 'Far In' closes proceedings, and takes a more trip-hop route, again, acoustic guitar samples and big band samples combined with a very strange beat, which keeps mutating from one thing to another, then a flute comes in, then another sample, and layer upon layer the sounds build up. Gently at first, then with more urgency, until its all getting quite frantic, before the loop closes and you're back where you started.

I don't like dance music, I don't go clubbing, but I love this album, it has textures and moods that bog-standard club tunes just don't have for me. This is dance music that you can listen to at home, or in a club, and it wills always sound just right, loud and banging, or quiet and thoughtful, this really is mood music, it puts you in a great mood. Buy it, borrow it, but make sure you hear this record soon. For those who get quickly off the mark come the fourteenth of June, there is a limited edition double pack featuring a cd of re-mixes, by such luminaries as, All Seeing I, Dope Smugglaz, Cut La Roc, Bowser, Bubble, Depth Charge, Soul of Man, Jacknife Lee and Next Century.

Shaun Doane