Quantic & Alice Russell
SXSW Showcase Reviews
Reviewed by Thomas Fawcett, Fri., March 16, 2012
Quantic & Alice RussellParish, Friday, March 16
Taking their forthcoming collaborative album for a test drive, Quantic & Alice Russell got help from fivepiece San Francisco soul combo the Park sitting in for Combo Bárbaro and breathing life into the lush, soulful orchestra of Look Around the Corner. The title track is an incredibly warm and rich arrangement full of sweeping strings and gentle guitar riffs that recall the sunny tropical crossover hits of Sergio Mendes in the late Sixties, while "I'll Keep My Light in My Window" covers the Temptations tune. Quantic, née Will Holland, is a British producer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist who has his hands in multiple projects ranging from hip-hop to cumbia to deep soul. Now based in Columbia, he nearly missed the gig after being stranded in the Caracas, Venezuela, airport, a fate blamed on United Airlines. Quantic, who played guitar during the set, has worked with British soul chanteuse Russell on various singles over the past decade, but this is their first collaborative full-length. Russell is a disarmingly funny frontwoman and gifted singer, her voice perfectly evoking the songs' ethereal wordplay without overpowering the arrangements. If this set is any indication, it would be wise to take a Look Around the Corner.