Switched On – Georgia Anne Muldrow – VWETO II (Mello Music Group)

reviewed by Ben Hogwood

What’s the story?

VWETO II is the sequel to Georgia Anne Muldrow’s 2011 album. Like that release it is an instrumental piece of work, an intriguing melting pot of hip hop, jazz, R&B and soul. Its colourful artwork offers clues to the author’s inspiration and the mood of the album, for although it is largely down tempo VWETO II is positive in mood.

What’s the music like?

Subtly inventive. Nothing here is routine, but nor is it too challenging as Muldrow finds a really fertile ground between experimenting and producing really good, solid grooves. Often her rhythms are syncopated and this means they can stumble slightly, a practice used on first track Almost Trendy which actually ends up depicting a natural walk along the street.

This establishes the mood and tempo of the record, which is a lot of fun and always has something of interest. The enjoyable inventions with beats and colours include the wonky bass and general weirdness of Something Fun, the undulating piano and oblique chord progressions of Brokenfolks and the cool vibraphone and piano of Bass Attack Bap.

After the pleasingly brassy CV Jam Number 2, Emo Blues opens up darker hues, nicely led by its acoustic bass, and later on Mary Lou’s Motherboard explores the macabre side of Muldrow’s thinking.

Does it all work?

Yes – VWETO II is consistently rewarding. While it is a shame not to hear Muldrow’s memorable voice in full flow her rate of output means it will surely not be long before that happens again. In the meantime we have this set of irresistible instrumentals, which work as well on the morning after as they do on the night before.

Is it recommended?

Yes, wholeheartedly. The range of beats and colours on VWETO II is very strong and original, turning over stones aplenty in its quest for original voices and memorable grooves. In the course of the album Muldrow hits both of those goals repeatedly and with ease.

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