TNT goes BOOM!

Down-tempo funky electronica. I got home the other day to find a small package on my doorstep – it turned out to be the album TNT by TNT Recordings. As the music was already on an actual physical disc (something rare in my house these days), I decided to first listen to this album in the car. What can I say? The album clearly starts as it means to go on. The first track The Theme From ‘Your Mammy’ is dark, dirty, and pretty damn catchy. Has a real down-tempo funk feel to it with the melodic guitar riff. Next up is M.A.S.H. – more down-tempo funk, this track has interesting layers and a distinct live feel to it. I can just imagine seeing it being played in a smokey club, just substitute a jazz band for TNT Recordings.

I should probably explain at this point that TNT Recordings are a trio of musicians, very much dedicated to creating music with a raw and live feel that keeps to its roots no matter the incarnation. The trio are; Tom Dean, Nigel Watson, and Tate North. Tom Dean is a bassist, Nigel Watson a guitarist, and Tate North plays the keyboard.

So, where was I? After the initial down-tempo funk tracks, then comes Na-Na, a more breakbeat kind of track. The culmination of instruments and samples is very fluent and the track flows with a great energy. Then we have Chilly, and what an apt name indeed. This is an ultra chilled track, something you could definitely watch the sun come up to. Once again I can really appreciate the live feel to the music. Using guitar and bass guitar on the tracks, as opposed to just using old samples or similar sounds, gives this stuff a real edge. Definitely adds a certain depth to the music.

TNT Recordings – Chilly
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In Between Beatings has a nice rhythm to it, very laid back, but it also has a kicking beat and hypnotic array of samples. It’s a real progressive track, slowly building up the layers and changes in sound. There’s something about this one, it’s really addictive! Do What You Will brings the funk back with its old skool mix of guitar and bass over deep thumping beats. All still very much on a laid back tip. Then the imaginatively titled Curry Goat Sound System takes us on a dub style psychedelic journey. This is proper chilling music. And thus far the whole album has felt very much like a journey.

Things then take a slightly different turn at Funk For Your Trunk. This one is more like a house tune. It’s pretty damn funky as far as house music goes, just not necessarily something I’d usually go for. The album then finishes with Plump, a sort of blend of funk, jazz, and trip-hop. This is a wicked track. An eerie piano sample plays sporadically throughout and the mix of funk and congo style drums works a treat. Not to mention the subtle guitar riff and various other samples that make up further layers of goodness. Definitely a good outro track.

Overall I’d say this is a proper album – and by that I mean there’s no filler tracks to pad out one or two decent tracks. The house sounding tune aside, and bear in mind that is purely my personal tastes, it is all solid stuff – either under the guise of electro funk or chilled out breakbeat, but always in a continuous down-tempo style. If you’re a fan of electronic music in general, then this is most definitely worth a listen. But specifically it might appeal to fans of chilled out music, stuff like Zero 7, Boards of Canada, although TNT Recordings aren’t exactly like anyone I’ve heard, they’ve most definitely got their own thing going on, and like I mentioned earlier, I genuinely believe it is to do with the usage of their own instruments. Adds the depth and soul to their creations.

Don’t be shy, check out their website and also their MySpace page.

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