Block 16 Morning Sun Review

Album. Released June 2001.  

BBC Review

What can't be denied is the authority with which these musical nuggets have been...

Greg Boraman 2002

Although this project cannot be faulted for it's musical intentions, it displays such an array of multiple musical personalities that in a blindfold test it might lead you to think you were hearing a compilation album. The nucleus of this act, DJ/producer Glen Gunner, keyboard player Pete Zivkovic and sound engineer Raj Gupta have lovingly pulled together their favourite influences, styles, and legendary vocalists (including Jon Lucien, Robert Owens and even the late Bim Sherman) into a kind of aural 'wish list'.

That said, what they have achieved across these disparate styles is an impressive, organic sound. From the wonderfully lush string arrangements backing Jhelisa's voice on the oh so soulful 'Find An Oasis' (with a large nod of acknowledgement to 4 Hero's 1998 'Two Pages' album) to old school electro, techno and hip hop, to latin & jazz funk, dub reggae, house, 2-step soul and whatever else took their fancy. To some, such genre-hopping may suggest a lack of a focused direction whilst others may be relieved at the variety of music contained within this project. What can't be denied is the authority with which these musical nuggets have been forged, with obvious loving care and attention to detail. To these ears, the standout moments are the vocal tracks, especially Jon Luciens' contribution to the title track "Morning Sun" which could almost have been lifted directly from one of his classic (and highly collectable) 1970's albums. Block 16 may have some trouble presenting this music in a live context (it's never going to be easy getting samplers and string quartets to gel convincingly onstage) but that's probably not uppermost in their mind just yet. This release may confuse some with it's eclectic vision, but the sound within is of a rare quality and though Block 16 may not be thankful for this comment - it would make a great soundtrack to any summer party!

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