ALBUM REVIEW: Album Review: Quantic Presents Flowering Inferno – Dog With A Rope

Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno
Dog with a Rope
[audio:|titles=Quantic – Dog-With-A-Rope]

Quantic’s latest release, Dog With A Rope (the second album under the Flowering Inferno moniker) is a potent mix of Afro-Latin rhythms, reggae, and psychedelic dub with musical influences that can be traced to Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Colombia and Panama. The album’s first single, also titled Dog With a Rope, gets the album off to a strong start and sets the tone for the whole album: totally relaxed and full of jazzy Caribbean swag. Songs like Echate Pa’lle and Te Pico El Yaibi are heavy on the dub overlays, and the effect is hypnotic and mesmerizing. On Echate Pa’lle, the male singer issues a haunting chant, “Sientate si no saben bailar” (sit down if you don’t know how to dance) that could be taken as either a stern warning or an invitation to chill out, relax, and sip yet another mojito. The dubby delivery makes me believe the latter. This song will probably remind you of Oye Como Va by Santana (I dare you to compare the two and not think so). Dub y Guaguanco and Cumbia Sobre El Mar put the Afro-Latin sound front and center while highlighting the sub-genres in the songs’ titles. Listeners will either feel compelled to sway their hips in tandem with a lover, or chill on a hammock and take in the sun.

The ever-prolific Quantic, born Will Holland, tends to lean on the nostalgic side with his production. Not so with this release. This album, though rooted in traditional Afro-Latin and vintage reggae vibes, is very present and surprisingly fresh. This is the type of music that is usually drawn-out and self-indulgent, but Quantic makes sure that we are given enough music to sink into without wallowing aimlessly in the goodness of it. He takes a modern approach with these songs by adding little breakbeats here and there, while maintaining a classic sensibility. The intermingling of the dub effects and bass is a timeless enhancement of the reggae sound that ultimately becomes the backbone of this album, while the omnipresent Latin influence is the heart and soul. Quantic reaffirms that good music will never die, and you can’t really blame him for wanting to revisit music that stands the test of time. What he has created with Dog With A Rope is a sublime slice of fantasy that appeals to all your senses: taste the mojito, smell the Cuban cigar smoke mixed with sugar cane, feel the sun beaming sensuously on your skin, and hear the rhythms that invite you to slowly sway your hips…or simply lay low in the vibe.