City Watching (Jpn)
Review Text Two Banks of Four were formed around the considerable talents of Rob Gallagher and Dill Harris, best known for their work with Galliano and the Young Disciples. Accordingly, they gathered together a group of gifted and sympathetic vocalists and musicians, including saxophonist Chris Bowden and Scratch Pervert Tony Vegas, among others. Unusually for such a studio project, they quickly forged a formidable live reputation with their attractive mix of jazz and dance grooves. From the opener "Skylines Over Rooftops" (based around a muscular double bass), the duo created sounds as evocative of modern London as Roni Size's images of Bristol. "Theme de la Tete" is a slice of would-be film soundtrack with its harpsichord melody floating over strings that would do Ennio Morricone proud. In fact, the beautiful string arrangements throughout help to give the record a cohesive mood. You can almost taste the coffee in "Erols Cafe," with the Arabic ambience conjured up by the sax and violin. "Routemaster" motors along nicely with scratches juxtaposed with shimmering rock-steady bass, guitar, and sax. Chris Bowden's soprano stretches out on "Street Lullaby," as dusk approaches, a lovely closer to a fine disc.