'Hard Rain' follows hot-on-the-heels from the acclaimed Ruby Rushton album 'Ironside', but whereas contemporary urban jazz was the focus there, Tender's solo record marks a return to another of the multifaceted artist's skills: dope house and beat music that oozes futuristic funk.
This sparse but perfectly-populated masterpiece takes inspiration from J Dilla and echoes elements of vintage Blaze, Larry Heard and Carl Craig. Warm and soulful, but also spacious and clean, Tender extracts maximum flavour out of just a few ingredients.
"Casey Jr." kicks proceedings off with a neck-snapping bass heavy p-funk monster, like Slum Village or Platinum Pied Pipers by way of Surrey and onwards to south London. Real electro laced cosmic jazz funk keys and techno hi hats coalesce exquisitely on "Buffalo Gurl", whilst the breathtakingly deep 'Hard Rain' sounds both current and classic. "Low Tide" is an ambient jazz interlude that clears the palate, before "Another State Of Consciousness" trips the light on a kaleidoscopic discoball of pure synth ecstasy. Bumpy and blunted, the break-fuelled flute ride of "Aesop Thought" and LA style abstractscience of "Workin' Me Out" shine a new light on trip hop, before the album closes with the smouldering, emotive brooder "Almost Time".
After a long studio hiatus, this is a sign of good things to come from Tenderlonious and the 22a camp!
"Hard Rain fuses deep house, stripped back techno, hip-hop, electro and spacey electronic music, all with a soulful, jazzy spirit. Woozy synths, whirring tape decks, fuzzy bass, chopped-up drums, stretched out pads, subtle melodies and warm tones create an atmosphere full of groove and soul. (9/10)" - Future Music
"The 22archestra and Ruby Rushton bandleader shape-shifts from slick urban updates of Yusef Lateef and The Headhunters into experimental future funk, broken beat and deep house...Hard Rain's warm overidding lo-fi aesthetic is a neat contrast to the no-nonsense virtuosity of his group outings." - **** MOJO
"The rolling Moog basslines pack proper soundsystem punch, some of the rhythms - most notably on the remarkable 'Another State of Consciousness' - are super off-beam, and the Detroit-via-Peckham chord progressions deliver purified dancefloor bliss. (8/10)" - Mixmag
"Hard Rain finds Ed Cawthorne applying his improvisatory nous to a suite of deep house tracks...his trick is to impose a human looseness on top of the regimented, precise rhythms." - Electronic Sound
"Although jazz is still a touchstone, Hard Rain nods more towards house and hip-hop: Moodymann hangs over 'Casey Jnr''s shuffling rhythm and keys and Madlib stalks 'GU22''s lolloping drums." - DJ Mag
"From dusty house jams to warped broken beat, 'Hard Rain' embodies the raw energy of Detroit, nodding to J Dilla, Larry Heard and Carl Craig in its output...this album is a window into the mind of a producer refusing to be defined by, or reduced to, a singular style." - Clash
- Casey Jnr
- Buffalo Gals
- Hard Rain
- Low Tide
- Another State Of Consciousness
- Aesop Thought
- Love You
- Workin Me Out
- Almost Time