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Stromba: In the Buff


Stromba takes its moniker from the brand name of the steroid stanazolol (Rafael Palmeiro’s testicle shrinker of choice). But as heard on The Sitting Room (Fat Cat), the British production duo of James Dyer and Tom Tyler brew a captivating mixture of downtempo club grooves, dub-wise sensibilities, world-music tinges and a smattering of ’70s electric jazz that adds up to anything but muscular freakishness and tiny testies.

The six-year-old group dropped a samples-heavy EP in 1999, but its full-length debut was so long in coming because the busy boys wanted to flesh out their sound by working with live musicians, and it was hard to fit in recording sessions between their day jobs: Dyer manages DC Recordings (owned by the great electronica/electro producer J. Saul Kane, aka Depth Charge), and Tyler records for the label under his own name; he describes his solo music as “downtempo, but it’s got a bit more of a jazz influence than Stromba. Based on old jazz samples, pretty much. I’ve always been into the 1970s, when things started getting pretty cosmic, like Alice Coltrane, Pharaoh Sanders, Eddie Henderson.”

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