CD Review: "Mocean Worker"

December 3, 2015

Encouraged by Marcus Miller, with whom he has recorded and performed (most recently on “I Can’t Breathe” from Miller’s Afrodeezia), DJ Mocean Worker puts his considerable bass skills front and center for the first time on his latest house/electro-swing effort. MW’s bass first emerges via a back-pickup gallop that enlivens and drives “I Told You Twice the First Time”—a vibe that stretches over to “RubberBand.” “The Actual Funk” and “Clap Yo’ Hands (Mtume)” ride muscular, Marcus-esque slapped subhooks (the latter with a step-out at the end), while “Ralph and Marcus” blends MW’s slap and back-pickup voices seamlessly. Away from his bass guitar, MW sets up “Now That’s What I’m Talking About” with a killer upright-sampled, keyboardplayed Latin ostinato before layering in double-time swing. Closing matters with a final fingerboard nod, “PunkDisco (Jaco)” rides a slapped samba figure over which two tracks of Jaco-intoned basses improvise and interact, while “Colette Ma Belle Femme” is a tender piano-and-strings ballad with bass in the melodic lead. Talk about turning tables!

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