Friday, October 15, 2010

Katalyst - What's Happening


With Paul Kelly we went from artist to compilation - and now with Katalyst we've gone from compilation to artist.  Let me explain.  The artist known as Katalyst (Ashley Anderson to his mum) is a DJ and producer, whose Dusted compilation is essential at any party at the YourZenMine abode.  But he's also a recording artist, putting together great musicians and vocalists on What's Happening and creating an album that just sounds like it was put together by a DJ.

Why? Because it pops, it struts, it croons, it rocks.  There are long songs and short ones, there's swing and rap and all kinds of styles, all blended together so you never know what's going to fly into your ears next.

It's also flawlessly produced - naturally - and the tunes are beautifully performed.  In short, this album is a winner.  Why don't you own it?



Ashley Anderson, aka Katalyst, is personally responsible for some of the best party nights I’ve had in recent times. No, seriously.  As we have already noted in our review of his amazing compilation Dusted (see it here), he has a real knack for mixing old and new together as well as creating some incredible beats himself.

On What’s Happening, his second full length album, he concentrates on giving us his own brand of new soul, hip hop and lots of bits in between.  And in doing so, he has gathered together a great arsenal of players, both national and international, using them to fire off track after fabulous track.

Steven Spacek, the vocalist who he formed his side project Space Invadas with, opens the album with the new soul-flavoured How ‘Bout Us, before the first single, All You’ve Got, jumps out of the speakers at you.  Featuring the rapid-fire talents of Ru C. L., Hau (from Koolism) and Yungun, this is hip hop as it should be, groove-laden, ego-free and well-humoured.  The bass line in this track is simple but so enviable.  It is exactly the sort of line I wished I written myself.

The highlights come fast on What’s Happening.  The beautiful and magnificently-voiced Stephanie McKay takes a incredible turn on Say What You Feel, the equally-gorgeous Adalita brings the rock with Bladewalker and  Katie Noonan lends her incredible voice to the Portishead-like To Dust.  But its not all about the girls.

Ru C. L. comes back for second appearance on Step Up, while Joe Volk adds his talents to Loaded Gun, as does Mat McHugh (from Beautiful Girls) to Over And Over, a dubby track reminiscent of Gorillaz at their best.

The problem though is that I haven’t listened to this nearly enough to really appreciate it. The previously mentioned compilation is still our constant go-to party starter and we’ve yet to find anything else that is equal to the task.  But, appropriately, What’s Happening is now a serious contender.


For more information:

No comments:

Post a Comment