Search - Howie B :: Turn the Dark Off

Turn the Dark Off
Howie B
Turn the Dark Off
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, R&B, Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

As a behind-the-scenes guru on U2's Pop, Howie B tried and pretty much failed to teach the Irish superstars how to catch a techno groove. On his latest solo album, he continues his quest to educate the mainstream, offering...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Howie B
Title: Turn the Dark Off
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Island/ Polygram Records
Release Date: 9/16/1997
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, R&B, Rock
Styles: Ambient, Electronica, Trip-Hop, Dance Pop, Experimental Rap
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 731453793422, 0731453793422, 731453793446

Synopsis

Amazon.com
As a behind-the-scenes guru on U2's Pop, Howie B tried and pretty much failed to teach the Irish superstars how to catch a techno groove. On his latest solo album, he continues his quest to educate the mainstream, offering a class in Electronica 101. But his efforts pale in comparison to those of his protégés in the London trio Headrillaz. A veteran of Bristol's influential Soul II Soul collective, Scottish mixmaster Howie B knows that he is poised post-Pop to reach the biggest audience of his career. Last year's Music for Babies was a charming ambient effort inspired by the birth of his daughter, but it didn't garner much attention. With Turn the Dark Off, he opts to present a sort of Whitman's Sampler of current electronic sounds, including solid but unsurprising samples of trip hop ("Hopscotch"), drum & bass ("Fizzy In My Mouth/Your Mouth"), and ambient house ("Limbo"). For the benefit of those older listeners who are still having trouble with this new-fangled music, Howie B includes "Take Your Brother By the Hand," a track co-written by former Band leader Robbie Robertson. It features Robertson reciting pseudo-Beat poetry ("Where am I, on this elevator to nowhere?") over a strange and slinky groove, but it never really establishes a mood. Overall, Howie would have been better off focusing his considerable talents to hone a particular sound, as he did on Music for Babies, rather than dabbling half-heartedly in a lot of them. --Jim Derogatis

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CD Reviews

Big-beat approach to sonic pranksterism
03/31/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Howie B's second solo disc takes a big beat approach to the sublte audio trickery this producer wunderkind is so fond of. "Turn The Dark Off" is slacker big beat, really. Imagine if Kruder & Dorfmeister set out to lull listeners into a warm, pot-smoke haze just to kill the vibe later by turning on a gigantic fan.Howie B's always understood the humor behind electronic music, and that's what's really going on here. Dig the chase-scene frenzy of "Angles Go Bald: Too," which tongue-in-cheekly shoots for being mind-numbingly repetitive. Even on the Doors-inspired collaboration with Robbie Robertson ("Take Your Partner By The Hand"), Howie B's sometimes comical use of Robertson's Burroughsian poerty prevents the track from being creepy.The lo-fi sound prevalent on this album came at a time when high-dynamic acts like The Prodigy, Underworld and The Chemical Brothers were predicted to dominate the States. In a way, this disc proves why electronica failed to capture American audiences--we're a nation accustomed to flacid guitar heroes swallowed up by lavish production values. Nothing more than a collection of sonic pranks and groove exercises, "Turn The Dark Off" embraces everything rock-weened Americans hate: Music sampled, assembled and otherworldly tweaked by machines which have yet to be popularily considered as instruments in their own right. In a way, that's why the album's so cool."