Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno: Westbound Train

Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno: Make Dub Not War

From Death of the Revolution (Tru Thoughts, 2008)

Should have been on top of this back in the summer when it first dropped but consider the new Flowering Inferno album to be good, warm listening for the chilliness of winter. This is Quantic’s latest incarnation, a close kin to the Quantic Soul Orchestra’s Tropidelico album from 2007 except here, it’s Quantic himself handling all of the musical duties.

The sound this time is out notably influenced by reggae and dub – the Latin touch still trails in the background but most songs are unmistakably built on dub’s viscous rhythmic signature. I was originally thinking this new album would be packed with tracks to play out and there are some more uptempo cumbias, such as the title track, but instead, I was pleased to find that where the album excels is really in the downtempo tracks that Quantic builds around drizzles of melody and druggy rhythms. “Make Dub Not War” for example, is a masterpiece of simplicity in contrasting the bright drops of acoustic piano against the echoing slap of snares. With “Westbound Train,” Quantic is working with any number of different samples in here – the most obvious to me was the pygmy flutes from Herbie Hancock’s “Watermelon Man,” and a guitar melody borrowed from Al Green’s “Love and Happiness.” It reminded me of some of the remix/edit tracks from the early ’90s (just minus the Fatman Scoop style shout outs)..

With “Westbound Train,” Quantic remakes the Dennis Brown song by the same name (thanks to DRev for schooling me) which, as most should note, picks its guitar line from Al Green’s “Love and Happiness”. From there, Q throws in a bit of the pygmy flute melody from Herbie Hancock’s groundbreaking “Watermelon Man” and builds another winning slow-tempo track for you to get grind on to.

If you really want to get hardcore, there are three different 7″s available from the album.