Whether or not it’s because the songs refuse to gel, or whether it’s because ‘The Angel’ (ah hem) has produced, arranged, programmed, engineered and written this disc herself, ‘Covert Movements’ ultimately conveys an unusual degree of randomness and freestyling. Fair enough, that’s what you get with dub, but with dub you should never have too much going on. And here, there’s precisely that. What could have been a memorable album is by turns shapeless and undisciplined. Tracks like ‘Still Burnin’ offer some classic moments, not least the slinky double-bass and the jazz guitar, but the trippy mix just spits it out in one soulless, messy shot of beats and breaks. There’s nothing that sits tight enough for my liking, and the dub reverberation simply saturates every clever detail. Even Frente and Splendid’s elusive Angie Hart fails to really lift ‘Black Rush’ – a track with Massive (Attack) potential – but again one that fails to find a true centre. It’s ‘nice’ but not remarkable. Fans of Zero 7, Roni Size and the Beloved may find the disc a compassionate listen – but it will still fail to ignite a lot of listeners out there.
The Angel is no new kid on the block. After contributing songs to the movies, Playing God (David Duchovny) and Gridlock’d (Tim Roth and rapper Tupac Shakur) she more recently scored her first full-length for the film Boiler Room (featuring serial daft apeoth, Ben Affleck). This is on top of producing albums for Bluenote pianist, Jacky Terrasson and Tre Hardson. So she has her credibility left intact, if nothing else. It’s just on this occasion The Angel didn’t quite make the trip to heaven.share this: