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A Magazine for Sheffield


Will Holland is among Britain’s most prolific musical exports. His tenth album, Magnetica, comes out this month and is Holland's first solo release since An Announcement To Answer back in 2006. As usual, the record promises Quantic’s usual blend of funk, soul, latin and ska flavours, this time largely made on electronic instruments and featuring singers from all four corners of the globe. Collaborators include the Congolese Pongo Love, LA-based reggae sensation Shinehead and regulars like Colombian Nidia Gongora and Blighty's very own Alice Russell.

Composers like Quantic have been part of the musical backdrop for so long that their output sometimes feels beyond familiar. But it quickly became clear that this was not the case with this release. The tracks are worldly and eclectic. They combine dubby textures, latin percussion and funky guitar, hip hop rhythms and cheesy synths with foreign language lyrics. There is a strong sense that Holland has matched ideas from all over his musical palate, not mixing like-for-like but finding pairings which are at first startling but ultimately interesting and engrossing. Firm favourites are the rocksteady instrumental ‘Soul Clap’, which playfully synthesises the trumpet, giving the texture something new, and the dubby ‘Spark It’, which would not be out of place on a Jahtari release.

It is exquisitely produced. The drums are firm and the bass is deep. It is unsurprising that Holland is no slouch in the studio, but this record exceeds mere competence and should be a benchmark for all makers of electro funk, dub and latin beats.

I could say more about this record because there is something worthy of note in every nook and cranny. Possibly not for everyone and perhaps not what fans of Quantic will expect, but don’t be too quick to judge. A five-star release from Mr Holland and TruThoughts.