Chief Xcel of Blackalicious fame and keyboard whiz Hervé Salters (aka General Elektriks) met in San Francisco a few years ago and have been waiting for a opportunity to build a project together. That project is Burning House. Created in San Francisco, Paris, and Berlin, Burning House’s début album ‘Walking Into A Burning House‘ is a collage of hip hop, raw funk, contagious club and brash jazz.
From the outset it is clear that this pair believe that creativity is key, kicking off with ‘28 Steps To…‘, a mellow instrumental introduction of sheer funk ingenuity. This then switches effortlessly to the super-fly retro anthem ‘Turn Off The Robot‘, grooving straight out of a 70s television show and throwing any expectations of this record well and truly out of the window. In fact, each track is a world away from its fellow tunes and yet equally intertwined as part of the same musical family. Whether it be dance-floor scorchers like ‘Post Party Stress Disorder’, hard-hitters like ‘The Nightbird’ or gorgeously smooth Jazz ballads like ‘Frozen Conversations’, Xcel’s beats and Salters’ keys whip up a entirely personal concept on music making and originality. Accompanied by a superb standard of backing vocalists and instrumentalists on a selection of tracks, also demonstrates the level of quality enlisted by the duo and a passion for this project.
‘Walking Into A Burning House’ is a début to contend with. Innovative, doesn’t come close to describing this album – a beautiful amalgamation of genres, spanning generations of styles and tastes, and forging them into a unified piece of musical mastery. If there is time to save anything from a burning house, this album should be firmly on that list.