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April 1999

Down to the Bone
From Manattan to Staten
Internal Bass Records

A cage-rattling, rhythmic workout from beginning to end, Down to the Bone's From Manhattan to Staten (Internal Bass Ltd.; 63:54) may represent a jazz-funk answer to House music's dancehall throb. Originally a remix project for West London DJ's Stuart Wade and Chris Morgans, Bone has become a full-blown, seven piece live act, affording the wild, multi-colored layers displayed on the disco-based "Muesli Brown" and knuckling "Savour the Flavor." Although the grooves build slowly and repetitively, the band hits intense and sometimes mesmerizing vibes on tunes like "Touch of Voodoo," with its singing bass and percussion/sax groove, and "Brooklyn Heights," which dances jazzy light piano over a heavy-loaded rhythm. The dance floor romps also yield vivid urban portraits on "Carlito's Way," which bounces and rages with a Latin percussive feel and bustling vibraphone highlights, and "Staten Island Groove," with its rumbling subway rhythms and cool keyboard breaks lending a cosmopolitan air.

Originally published in April 1999
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