Mojo (Publisher) - p.1023 stars out of 5
- "[T]his is more than a nostalgia trip: tracks like 'Got That Vibe' and 'Shake 'N' Pop Roll' show he remains an innovator."
Personnel: Afrika Bambaataa; Fort Knox Five (vocals); Rob Myers (sitar); Jason Freese (saxophone); Big Rob (talk box); Rex Riddem (percussion); Jeff Adachi, Bam's Crew (background vocals); Mustafa Akbar (vocals); Gary Numan, Muriel Fowler, T.C. Islam, King Kamonzi, Alien Ness, Aghi Spirits, MC Chatterbox.
Audio Mixers: Afrika Bambaataa; Steven "Boogie" Brown; Sharaz; Greg Koller; Ronald "Dukeyman" Hall; DJ Hektek; šberzone.
Recording information: B More Studio, Baltimore, MD; Bronx Mobb Studios; Centre For The Musically Challenged; Fort Knox Studios, Washington DC; Longevity Studios, NJ; The Sound Suite, London, England.
Photographer: Mo Daoud.
Premier conceptualist and grandfather of DJ culture Afrika Bambaataa continues his quest to wed sci-fi electronica with earthy funk on 2004's DARK MATTER: MOVING AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT. Bambaataa's one-world/one-love ethos, which has been central to all his recordings, is represented here by various ethnic flavors, among them the sitar-drenched Indian melodies of "Got That Vibe" (with rapping by King Kamonzi), and the minimalist Latin feel of "Electro Salsa." There's also a cover of Manu Dibango's uptempo "Soul Makossa," which filter's the song's dancy Afro-pop through Bambaataa's techno lens.
One of the album's best and most provocative moments is Bambaataa's cover of Gary Numan's "Metal;" appropriately, the version mixes robotic alien pop with pumping house music. Numan himself adds vocals to the new track, as does rapper MC Chatterbox. Elsewhere the album sticks to speaker-rattling dance anthems, as on "Dark Matter," "Take You Back" (which takes its cue from old-school JB's instrumentals), and "Meet Me at the Party," which merges '70s funk basslines and vocoder tricks with Kraftwerk-inspired synth patterns. DARK MATTER proves Bambaataa still has some electro-funk magic to dispense, even 25 years after his first genre-defining experiments.