Thunderball allows relaxation


Whenever I listen to a record from ESL, I know I’m in for something pretty damn creative. Many of the artists signed to the label are manufacturers of what many like to call “chill-out music”. The artists tend to incorporate funk, jazz, electro, and Latin elements with a variety of samples. The vocals usually exist primarily as another instrument, with repeated phrases, shouts, and “ooh”s often making up for meaningful lyrics. One of the newer groups that I’m fond of is a duo who goes by the name Thunderball. Steve Raskin and Sid Barcelona both use their love of the 60s and 70s to create very creative music that could fit on a variety of movie soundtracks during that time. “We are interested in breakbeat in all its forms,” says Raskin. “Tempo is just one of the elements that we use to create the right mood for a particular track. By juxtaposing elements of dub, funk, bossa, and soul, we are constantly trying out new and unexpected combinations to blur boundaries and defy music genres.”


The appropriately titled Cinescope is the newest of the duo’s three albums, releasing in three weeks on October 23rd. I find it to be the richest and most engaging out of the bunch, with a collection of guest vocals and irresistable grooves. ‘Return Of The Panther’ uses some fantastic elements of R&B (also being one of the few songs with organized vocals), while the funky ‘The Mysterious Mr. Sandobar’ is driven by saxophone and bass. ‘To Sir With Dub’ is one of the lighter tracks on the album, developing into a very refreshing and relaxing song that Ryuichi Sakamoto would gladly approve. Give these songs a listen… there’s a good chance they will take at least a little bit of stress out of your Monday.

Thunderball – Return Of The Panther



Thunderball – The Mysterious Mr. Sandobar



Thunderball – To Sir With Dub



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Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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