Wagon Cookin' ( http://www.wagoncookin.com/ )2 Faces
Compost ( )
Brothers Garayalde, Luis & Javier, are no strangers to the crossovers between electronic genres and jazz styles. Their familiarity is reflected on 2 Faces, a double disk released on Compost Records, courtesy of their Appetizers Label. Wagon Cookin' explores influences clearly inspired by the 90s acid jazz sound, which not surprisingly (and appropriately) has caught the attention of tastemaker Gilles Peterson. 2 Faces, a steadily infectious collection, is distributed through two disks of indulgent, yet savory tracks . "What's It Like" captures the vibe of late 70s California soul, while "Mr. Sun" blends the playful abandon of 80s electro with flighty vocals. "Desejo", in a lovely way, brings together the Brazilian fusion sound alongside more analog richness. The second disk steps it up onto the dance floor, while maintaining the same precarious balance across the cheese threshold that was apparent on the first disk. If one can make past the first few tracks on the second disk, "Fever" will surprise with its depth, and the anthem potential of "Malorca" will induce a feverish rush. Wagon Cookin' would be one incredible act to experience, either as a band or as DJs. However the translation is almost lost in 2 Faces, which is quite tragic given the quality production in each of the tracks. There are powerfully soulful expeditions and thumping funky ass-shakers, but vocally it tends to cross over that painful line into flaky fluff, and there is indiscriminate overuse of the arpeggiator. None-the-less, 2 Faces is going to fill the crates of DJs, quite simply because Wagon Cookin' know how to fill the dancefloors.
By Art Ladd
Jan 5, 2008