Album review
Hunter Files
Rodney Hunter
CD / 2LP
April 26, 2004

Tracking list

  1. Intro
  2. Electric Lady
  3. Work That Body
  4. Let Your Soul Guide Your Heart * feat. Diana Luger
  5. Quero Saber feat. Oreta Pires
  6. There's A Reason * feat. Clumzy T, Ra face, Ken Cesar
  7. Take A Ride
  8. Take A Ride Pt. 2 feat. Aladin
  9. Find It feat. Farda P
  10. Is This Your Boy * feat. Ken Cesar
  11. Without Warning feat. Hubert Tubbs
  12. Interlude *
  13. You're Not Alone

  14. * denotes CD-only track
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 5

In the slipstream of the discussion in the Reggae-Vibes Forum and the excellent article Dub Revolution on the German/UK 'nu-dub'/lounge/downtempo (and not to be forgotten as we'll see: the Austrian Vienna-) scene by Gregory Stephens this seems to be an excellent moment to even push it one step further. Not only dub/reggae has left its marks on Rodney Hunter's "Hunter Files" album, but SHAG (soulful house and garage) as well (the direction US-producers Blaze went for their 1990 Motown album "25 Years LAter", still worth a listen - especially their collaboration with Third World). The "Hunter Files" album has been in the making for over three years, after Rodney Hunter was asked by G-Stone's Kruder & Dorfmeister to record it for their label in 2001. And now, after the mysterical spoken "Intro, "Electric Lady" is an excellent soulful house track that is also the first featured single off this album, to start a wonderful listening experience. Great soulful vocals devoted to the pleasures of the female kind, driving bass, fine percussion and keyboards make this a guaranteed dancefloor filler. "Work That Body" is a magnificent groovy tune with its cool bass pattern, and fine horns providing a perfect backdrop for the sensual vocals (and message). "Let Your Soul Guide Your Heart" with its vocodered and whispered vocals by not only Rodney Hunter but also Diana Luger was co-written and produced by Richard Dorfmeister, and it just 'takes it higher' in terms of thumping basses, grooviness and sexiness. Oreta Pires contributes the sensual female vocals to "Quero Saber", another grooving experience, with a bit more exotic influences (not only from the Spanish singing) but still very heavy on the bubbling bass. The next tune "There's A Reason" is used to bring a whole bunch of Vienna based illuminaries in a rap and nice strings featuring scorcher, rapping courtesy of Clumzy T and Ra face, and vocals from Ken Cesar, the Vienna singer/songwriter also featured on Stereotyp's "My Sound" album, on which the in these pages more regularly appearing Paul St.Hilaire (check also the reviews of his albums "Unspecified" and "Showcase w/ Rhythm & Sound") starred as well. The typical loungy dubby jazzy sound with flute, heavy bass latin-tinged percussion and whispered vocals with a nice horn riff on top make the Rodney Hunter "Take A Ride" invitation heartfelt, six minutes of aural pleasure taking us into the version of the tune "Take A Ride Pt.2" on which MC Aladin and the instrumentation give this tune a flow and vibe that reminds me immediately of especially Alpha Blondy's most 'africanized' reggae tunes, completely different version of the tune, yet really a version still, and one that grabs you. For "Find It" features a dubbified skaish riddim with Different Drummer/Rockers HiFi MC Farda P from Birmingham(UK), who was also featured on the Tosca (Richard Dorfmeister & Rupert Huber)-album "Dehli 9", and has a real oldschool reggae DJ delivery, as has another G-Stone MC, Sugar B from Vienna, who was in the late 80s and early 90s singer of the in Austria legendary Moreaus (together with Peter Kruder, Rodney Hunter himself and DJ DSL). Following is the wonderful love song "Is This Your Boy" on which the earlier mentioned Ken Cesar contributes the excellent soulful vocals. "Without Warning" brings the dancefloor beats back in front, with 'adopted G-Stoner' Hubert Tubbs, the former Tower Of Power singer, who was also featured on the above mentioned Stereotyp "My Sound" album, doing the vocals which are secondary to the beat and funky bass. "Interlude" is what its title promises, a moment of relaxation, with a beautiful melodic horn riff, angelical female voices and slow paced percussion, before the album closes with "You're Not Alone", another wicked soulish, partly rapped, tune offering the comfort of not being alone. This whole superb CD is off the reggae path, but is a warm bath in which one desires to stay immersed.