SugaRush Beat Company: SugaRush Beat Company

The three members of SugaRush Beat Company churn out sweet, delicious beats for the feet. This is one sugar rush that doesn't dip!

SugaRush Beat Company

SugaRush Beat Company

Contributors: Rahsaan Patterson
Label: RCA U.K.
US Release Date: Available as import
UK Release Date: 2008-09-29

SugaRush Beat Company is aptly christened. Drawn in animated silhouette on the CD label, the three members of this inter-continental soul outfit churn out sweet, delicious beats for the feet.

Led by Melbourne-based producer Jarrad "Jaz" Rogers, SugaRush Beat Company unites two established vocalists and songwriters, Ida Corr and Rahsaan Patterson. Their vocal styles give Rogers a contrasting pair of palettes to work with on the album's 13 tracks. With lead vocals divided almost evenly, the combination of talent works. Already hailed in the UK for its cross-genre appeal, SugaRush Beat Company is the antidote to the landscape of urban and industrial ennui depicted by rain-soaked streets and buildings in the album's artwork.

The premise of the album is illustrated by a two-page spread in the booklet. A crowd stands enraptured before a towering, messianic set of speakers. Hands wave in the air as the beats thunder forth from the speakers. Written by Rogers and Patterson, "Sugarush" is the album's unofficial anthem. A perfect complement to the tableaux, it's also an anthem for anyone who's been driven delirious by melody and rhythm. "I feel a two-step comin' on", Patterson exclaims, and it's impossible not to absorb his excitement, or the excitement of the crowd in the illustration, for that matter.

Based somewhere in the stratosphere above, "Love Breed" is a sugary slice of dance-pop heaven. Over Rogers' wind-swept arrangement, Corr vacillates between ache and determination. "I try to fly, still I'm falling", she sings angelically. Her search for redemption, and her pain, is the listener's reverie. "Love Breed" is a song meant for opened-sun roof driving or spinning enraptured underneath a strobe light.

By contrast, "They Said I Said" (Corr's other standout performance on the album) is a hot three minutes of handclaps and go-go rhythms. With just a slight trace of venom, Corr rasps, "It's not that I hate you / But I just can't seem to love you". You can almost see the spikes jutting off the ends of each letter, but the groove is so damn good you don’t even notice the danger.

Even when the subject matter turns political, Rogers keeps the beats fervent. "Gunshots 'N Candyfloss" salutes the media's hold on our consciousness, where we sit, captivated by images of violence and disposable entertainment. "Extra, extra", Patterson calls, sending the synapses of our collective ADD-afflicted attention spans into haywire. The jittery production mirrors the cognitive clutter of our minds.

The highlight of SugaRush Beat Company is Patterson's "L-O-V-E". There is nothing subtle about the track, nor should there be considering the topic at hand. Rogers's rim-shots and sneaky bass line give way to cymbal crashes and majestic horns. Grandeur surrounds Patterson's vocals. Love usurps his power to resist and he's overcome with elation, even if he's driven crazy by Cupid's arrow. The overpowering force of love envelops him. He spells out each letter of the word, yet he's at a loss for words: "'L' is love it's love / 'O' yes 'o' is love", he sings. The emotion in his voice tells us all we need to know about being consumed so completely by love -- if there's a cure for it, he don't need it!

Further down the track list is what could be considered the album's somber moment. "Jesus Come Here" is a track that both haunts and hypnotizes. A distorted voice mutters "Hello?" through the fog of Rogers's ambient arrangement. It's a chilling sound. The mood generated by his production captures the essence of walking in darkness -- literally and spiritually -- looking for light. The presence of Jesus seems to be felt, as indicated by the plangent sound of the gospel choir ("See the glory / Ahhh"), but then fades away. The song ends, somewhat unresolved. "Jesus Come Here" is, of course, open to interpretation, but for the character in this song, at least, Jesus is a powerful but fleeting force.

It's something of a missed opportunity that Corr and Patterson do not share any lead vocals, though the two have sung together in concert to promote the album. With the identity of SugarRush Beat Company now established, hopefully more duet opportunities will shape the next effort (or perhaps a Corr/Patterson duet could be included for the album's still-unannounced US release).

However, that is only a minor misstep on an album that is offers a much-needed salve of "cotton candy records" (to borrow a phrase from "Sugarush") in such dispirited times. This is one sugar rush that doesn't dip.


From drunken masters to rumbles in the Bronx, Jackie Chan's career is chock full of goofs and kicks. These ten films capture what makes Chan so magnetic.

Jackie Chan got his first film role way back in 1976, when a rival producer hired him for his obvious action prowess. Now, nearly 40 years later, he is more than a household name. He's a brand, a signature star with an equally recognizable onscreen persona. For many, he was their introduction into the world of Hong Kong cinema. For others, he's the goofy guy speaking broken English to Chris Tucker in the Rush Hour films.

From his grasp of physical comedy to his fearlessness in the face of certain death (until recently, Chan performed all of his own stunts) he's a one of a kind talent whose taken his abilities in directions both reasonable (charity work, political reform) and ridiculous (have your heard about his singing career?).

Now, Chan is back, bringing the latest installment in the long running Police Story franchise to Western shores (subtitled Lockdown, it's been around since 2013), and with it, a reminder of his multifaceted abilities. He's not just an actor. He's also a stunt coordinator and choreographer, a writer, a director, and most importantly, a ceaseless supporter of his country's cinema. With nearly four decades under his (black) belt, it's time to consider Chan's creative cannon. Below you will find our choices for the ten best pictures Jackie Chan's career, everything from the crazy to the classic. While he stuck to formula most of the time, no one made redundancy seem like original spectacle better than he.

Let's start with an oldie but goodie:

10. Operation Condor (Armour of God 2)

Two years after the final pre-Crystal Skull installment of the Indiana Jones films arrived in theaters, Chan was jumping on the adventurer/explorer bandwagon with this wonderful piece of movie mimicry. At the time, it was one of the most expensive Hong Kong movies ever made ($115 million, which translates to about $15 million American). Taking the character of Asian Hawk and turning him into more of a comedic figure would be the way in which Chan expanded his global reach, realizing that humor could help bring people to his otherwise over the top and carefully choreographed fight films -- and it's obviously worked.

9. Wheels on Meals

They are like the Three Stooges of Hong Kong action comedies, a combination so successful that it's amazing they never caught on around the world. Chan, along with director/writer/fight coordinator/actor Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao, all met at the Peking Opera, where they studied martial arts and acrobatics. They then began making movies, including this hilarious romp involving a food truck, a mysterious woman, and lots of physical shtick. While some prefer their other collaborations (Project A, Lucky Stars), this is their most unabashedly silly and fun. Hung remains one of the most underrated directors in all of the genre.

8. Mr. Nice Guy
Sammo Hung is behind the lens again, this time dealing with Chan's genial chef and a missing mob tape. Basically, an investigative journalist films something she shouldn't, the footage gets mixed up with some of our heroes, and a collection of clever cat and mouse chases ensue. Perhaps one of the best sequences in all of Chan's career occurs in a mall, when a bunch of bad guys come calling to interrupt a cooking demonstration. Most fans have never seen the original film. When New Line picked it up for distribution, it made several editorial and creative cuts. A Japanese release contains the only unaltered version of the effort.

7. Who Am I?

Amnesia. An easy comedic concept, right? Well, leave it to our lead and collaborator Benny Chan (no relation) to take this idea and go crazy with it. The title refers to Chan's post-trauma illness, as well as the name given to him by natives who come across his confused persona. Soon, everyone is referring to our hero by the oddball moniker while major league action set pieces fly by. While Chan is clearly capable of dealing with the demands of physical comedy and slapstick, this is one of the rare occasions when the laughs come from character, not just chaos.

6. Rumble in the Bronx

For many, this was the movie that broke Chan into the US mainstream. Sure, before then, he was a favorite of film fans with access to a video store stocking his foreign titles, but this is the effort that got the attention of Joe and Jane Six Pack. Naturally, as they did with almost all his films, New Line reconfigured it for a domestic audience, and found itself with a huge hit on its hands. Chan purists prefer the original cut, including the cast voices sans dubbing. It was thanks to Rumble that Chan would go on to have a lengthy run in Tinseltown, including those annoying Rush Hour films.

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