Alan Hawkshaw / Brian Bennett - Full Circle LP
Label: Be With
Alan Hawkshaw (piano/Hammond) and Shadow's drummer Brian Bennett are responsible for some of the slickest, funkiest and most sought-after library records ever made in the UK, particularly ones recorded on the legendary KPM label. Their work has now become the go-to place for sampling in music today. Artists such as Dilla, Nas, and the xx, right through to the billion-selling Kanye and Drake have taken Hawkshaw's and Bennett's immaculate beat-driven soundscapes for their own usage. Their new album, Full Circle, in a full, iconic KPM cover, is a return to the laidback jazz-funk that helped Alan and Brian demonstrate their library chops. The album is classic Hawkshaw/Bennett. It swings, it grooves, moves, and thrills with a flair these two have perfected over years. Standout tracks such as "Hole In One", "In The Clouds", "Interchange", "Oasis", "On The Nile" and "Corcovado" are no mere excursions in nostalgia, for they carry lots of deft studio work for which many a producer would give their right arm. Hawkshaw's arrangements allow the drums, guitar, bass, strings, Hammond, flute and brass to swirl elegantly around the 12 original tracks; a masterclass in recording. Cut by Pete Norman, housed in a beautifully designed Richard Robinson sleeve and pressed by Record Industry in Holland, this release has been afforded the care and attention it rightly deserves. Essential.