Since the Chemical Brothers explosion, new big-beat acts from the U.K. are greeted with skepticism, but Propellerheads are no copycats. Alex Gifford and Will White did the usual groundwork by releasing singles and EPs befo... more »re giving up a full album. The groovy single "History Repeating," featuring '60s cabaret vocalist Shirley Bassey, plays slightly into the lounge revival of the late '90s but with a James Bond-esque style that grabs attention similar to Portishead's "Sour Times." The recurring spy film theme makes this a perfect soundtrack for Austin Powers's first rave--"On Her Majesty's Secret Service" is actually a Bond remake. Propellerheads also slip in full-on "rock" jams ("Bang On!") and slick urban cut-ups reminiscent of De La Soul, who appear on "360° (Oh Yeah?)." Shifting tempos from laidback to lightning-fast with exceptional ease, Decksandrumsandrockandroll is a solid collection of funky, jazzy, hip-hop-influenced dance music that has earned its mainstream acceptance by delivering the goods. --Liisa Ladouceur« less
Since the Chemical Brothers explosion, new big-beat acts from the U.K. are greeted with skepticism, but Propellerheads are no copycats. Alex Gifford and Will White did the usual groundwork by releasing singles and EPs before giving up a full album. The groovy single "History Repeating," featuring '60s cabaret vocalist Shirley Bassey, plays slightly into the lounge revival of the late '90s but with a James Bond-esque style that grabs attention similar to Portishead's "Sour Times." The recurring spy film theme makes this a perfect soundtrack for Austin Powers's first rave--"On Her Majesty's Secret Service" is actually a Bond remake. Propellerheads also slip in full-on "rock" jams ("Bang On!") and slick urban cut-ups reminiscent of De La Soul, who appear on "360° (Oh Yeah?)." Shifting tempos from laidback to lightning-fast with exceptional ease, Decksandrumsandrockandroll is a solid collection of funky, jazzy, hip-hop-influenced dance music that has earned its mainstream acceptance by delivering the goods. --Liisa Ladouceur
Matt F. from LE CLAIRE, IA Reviewed on 8/20/2006...
Beats to ruin your speakers. Thumper.
And they played records
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 05/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Big beats. Hip-hop. James Bond. That's the description of the Propellerheads' "Decksanddrumsandrockandroll," a wildly enticing album that mixes dance music with a James Bondian atmosphere. Its crossover appeal and originality are very good, but the raw energy is the icing on the cake.
A cheerful, sputtering radio sample opens the album, before leading into a gritty maze of electrobeats and percussion, interspersed with samples. It's heavy stuff, but still fun. Things reach their heaviest point near the end when jazz rhythms are mingled with deep vocal samples and some blisteringly raw electronic buzzes.
It gets more fun in the second song, "Velvet Pants," a vaguely jazzy song with the constant repetition, "He's got a nice body, he's wearing velvet pants... Send the first kid down, send the first kid down, and they played records."A more openly hip-hoppy sound enters with the pleasantly slackerish "360° (Oh Yeah?)", while "Winning Style" has a glitzier, faster tone.
The best songs of all are the ones with a distinctly James Bondian flair: "History Repeating" is a wonderfully overwrought lounge-dance song, with Shirley Bassey roaring that, "And I've seen it before/and I'll see it again/just little bits of history repeating!" Same with spy dance-track "Spybreak." But things reach their peak with "In Her Majesty's Secret Service," a ten minute opus that mingles majestic retro with big beat fun, complete with an orchestral brass climax.
If it sounds fun, that's because it is.
Kitschy electronica is one of the easiest kinds of music to mess up, especially if there's sampling going on. Give it a theme, and it's even harder. But the Propellerheads pull this incredibly engaging album with rare style and skill, pulling together spy flair with disparate musical styles -- who would pair funky dance beats with an epic brass section? Apparently they would -- and it works.
The Propellerheads veer wildly from one style to another, sometimes mingling styles. Rather than sounding messy and fragmented, they create densely-constructed, dancey songs. And they know just how often to repeat a sample, and where to place it, just to keep the beats and rhythms from seeming repetitive.
The Propellerheads have yet to create a follow-up to "Decksanddrumsandrockandroll" but this one is enough to keep fans raving. Wildly original, full of raw energy and lots of fun."
Makes my day better... EVERYTIME!
A Seema | from perhaps some concrete jungle extraordinaire.. | 01/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is gooooood music! I have been listening to this for years and it never gets old!
It gets you going and makes you happy! (warning: if you don't like driving fast don't put this in your car - it's a much better workout/morning alarm/be happy thing)
You might have heard some of this from the Matrix movie in those slow/fluid/powerful/raw action scenes.
I like many kinds of good music, from Ella Fitzgerald to Alice in Chains (Dirt), to Evanessence, and back around to Gershwin, so whatever your taste is just close your eyes, buy this, take that leap and you'll never look back."
The Best Blasting Music...
A Seema | 10/16/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"That CD will get you off your chair! Buy it now, the beat is so excellent!My favorites are On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Bang On! and Spybreak! I heard Spybreak! in "The Matrix", and I raced to listen to some samples on the net to know if all their musics were as good as that one. The result was positive, so I bought the CD. I paid it a little bit expensive, but as soon as I listened to it, I saw that it was worth its price.It's a marvellous combination of Techno, Rock, Pop, Funky and Hop. Everybody will appreciate at least 85% of the CD. Some tracks are even funny (like a Number of Microphones, where there's someone simulating beats with his mouth, and another track where there's someone saying "oH Nothin'!" about 15 times).If you love techno, rock, if you like the JamesBond tunes, and remixes, then you'll love Propellerheads - Decksandrumsandrockandroll.My recommendation : GO BUY IT NOW !!! GO! GO! GO!"
Everything is in the mix!
Josephll | CET | 11/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I think of the Propellerheads, songs like "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" which was a bond movie remake and "History Repeating" featuring 60's jazz artist Shirley Bassey comes too mind. Those 2 songs are not what Propellerheads is all about though. Many of their songs are a mix of Hip Hop and dance music. With fast beats, hard bass and scratching. They never were afraid to mix the genres and even if they didn't make any other albums I can think of they stayed on to what they knew and never became too commerical like Fatboy Slim and Chemical Brothers. "Bang On" for example is a very fast song with rough beats. "A number of Microphones" is a a one of a kind hip hop influented song where they show what kind of sound you can do with the mic. "Bigger" introduces some scratching and awesome computer made sounds. "360 degree's" with De La Soul rapping. "Better" is jazzy while "Spybreak" is another Bond number. Many songs are also beat oriented, semi-drum and bass, or whatever you can call that. Overall a great album with many highlight. Propellerheads might not jabe been around for long but while they were they did some great work. Defenitely something for your dance collection."
I don't own many five-star albums
David Cooke | Berkeley, CA United States | 03/15/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not the kind of person to write rave reviews about many music albums, but this album is utterly ridiculous. Every track offers something unique to the sound, but the album as a whole is very cohesive, sticking to the spy-sound guns that make this duo so talented. Contrary to the person who said this album isn't great to dance to, I disagree...the big thing, though, is that this isn't club music. This isn't your regular 4-on-the-floor sound, though most of the songs are in standard 4x4 rhythm. Incorporating a variety of really unique samples (mostly UK/British stuff), the Propellerheads have created an album that never stops getting funky. I can't pinpoint a lot of what makes this album, 'cause each song is unlike anything you've probably heard before. There's a stupendous hip-hop track (360 degrees) that contrasts really well with mainstream hip-hop and shows those guys how to do it right. There's a beautiful reworking of a lounge-style song (History Repeating). There's some downright slamming, angry, noisy music (Bang On!). Then there's the "Correct Microphone Placement" song that is a perfect little beatbox number. Obviously "On Her Majesty's..." is a killer track, and it bridges classically-styled music with some hard-hitting beats very well. I cannot recommend this album enough, to any music fan in general. The people who doubt what techno can be haven't heard enough music like this. I often wonder what the point in creating house music was after the mid-late 90s, since all the good stuff seems to come out of the earliest works, like this disc."