Jef Stott: Saracen

[5 May 2008]

By Nils Jacobson

After studying, playing, producing, and traveling the musical globe for more than ten years, Jef Stott has finally put together his first full-length solo release, and it’s long overdue.  The Californian draws heavily from voices, instruments, and styles of North Africa and the Middle East, enthusiastically fusing them with electronic beats and textures.  In doing so, Stott merges East and West as if they belong together, not apart—dancing on the floor, not standing in a museum. The bump and grind of “Faqir” shimmies delightfully to close with an ancient Sufi amulet rhythm, winding through interludes of mystery and mysticism on the way.  Along with all-out club energy, like the four-to-the-floor propulsion of the next track, there are moments of spacious trance, peppery drum’n'bass, and various other harder-to-tag hybrids.  It’s extremely mixed up, yet entirely coherent: part trance, part dance, part jam, all groove.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/jef-stott-saracen/