Trippin 'n' Rhythm
The U.K. synth wizard can’t seem to let go of his two biggest hits, “19” and “Rainforest.” He leads with “Rainforest/What’s Going On,” featuring a sample from “19,” then includes the great Marvin Gaye’s vocals with the “Rainforest” groove. Hardcastle dips into the well later with “Rainforest/What’s Going On (Chill Mix).” Wait, we’re not done. Hardcastle 6 concludes with “Forest Echoes (The Conclusion),” just in case you hadn’t heard enough.
There have been few surprises from Hardcastle over the past decade and the new music is like that: dreamy after-party stuff like “Blew My Mind Ibiza Mix” and breathy vocal tunes like “Into the Blue” and “Let This Love Begin.” And Hardcastle does light the flame on a few songs that makes the music jump around a bit, including “Night Time Hustle,” which rides a big-city groove with saxophone, R&B vocal refrains and synth-produced disco flashes, and “DC Boogie,” a herky-jerky dance number with calls to “get down, get down.”
Overall, however, Hardcastle’s one-man show, with minimal live contributions, is past the point of predictability. He had the show to himself once, but with today’s technology, the kids with the laptops are doing better.