Howie B vs Casino Royale

Howie B vs Casino Royale

Not in the Face.

Howies/ Fabric Records.

Howie B is one of the most important producers of electronic music to come from these fine shores. Howie has a staggering back catalogue of tunes and has been able to work with the likes of Bjork, Brian Eno and err! U2. Here Howie reworks his own previous production efforts from Casino Royale’s album, “Reale”, a celebration of the music by one of Italy’s best kept secrets. The original album is an Italian mash up of ska, funk and fast dub, whereas what Howie serves us up here is more lo-fi bass heavy electronica affair with splatterings of bizarre Italian vocals. Re-recorded over 10 days, Not in the Face is in places a fantastic picturesque soundscape, beautiful and very clever, possibly a bit too clever at times though. Sometimes the reworking is so far departed from the original its hard to see what the point of the tune is, the album gives a feeling that we are slipping a bit too far in to Howies self indulgent side. Of the 10 tunes Howie plays about with here, Easy Tranquillo, Plastico Mistico and Quello Che Ti Do are what you would expect chilled dub electronica, Milano Double Standard and Royale’Sound are more upfront dance floor friendly tunes. E’Gia domain and In My Soul Kingdom will appeal to all you dubstep kids out there and the bizarre and weird amongst you will lap up Protect Me and the closer Tutto. This album will move large numbers just because of the Fabric association but the one suggestion I would make is that if you do pick up this album make sure you check out some of Casino Royal’s own tunes at the same time and make your own comparisons as to whose tunes rule.


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