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French producer and solo-multi-instrumentalist Chris Joss is a very impressive musician, technically speaking – a virtual library of instruments, deft with dulcimers, guitars, bass, drums, flute, vibraphone, clavinet, sitar(!) et. al., and all played live here on Sticks if he is to be believed – and obviously a very talented engineer/songwriter, forging a kind of live-loops experience. This is an instrumental album, based around bass grooves, short licks and guitar riffs; very pleasant listening, and his sitar(!) playing stands out not for any stab at that “authentic” raga sound, but those very funky, pornstar-style runs and twangs … The question becomes, how do you make this kind of music on your lonesome? It’s not boundary-breaking or even very exciting – the energy level of this record should look like a flat line – so what is the real significance of an album like this? It just sounds as if one is listening to the DVD menu music for Ocean’s 13 over and over again (not surprisingly, he has done a bit of soundtrack work) – albeit with a fair bit of the Beatles and blaxpoitation thrown in for good measure.

**1/2