Soundscape UK

His success internationally enabled Chris Bangs to set up his own studio and production company, Thin Air. His talents were soon spotted outside of the acid jazz scene with Paul Weller utilising Chris's production skills. This liaison led to a partnership with Weller's former Style Council-er Mick Talbot as Soundscape UK - one of a whole range of projects marked by the Bangs stamp that have secured commercial and critical acclaim from the USA, Japan, Europe and Australia.

Out on the streets in the UK on may 15th 2000 Uptown Groove is the long awaited new album from Soundscape UK.

Recorded in London and New York City summer 1999 - spring 2000, Uptown Groove takes a whole new angle at contemporary jazz funk mixing the best elements of smooth jazz with funky soul beats and the vocal talents of Opal recently with Urban Species and the big cheese allstars on three original tunes and a cool cover of Terri Wells Classic "you make it heaven".

The New Groove takes in influences from Urban Groove, Jazz Funk and Smooth Jazz to create a contemporary soundscape with a whole flavour of it's own and features Mick Talbot, Keyboard Ace from Yada Yada and The Style Council - Nigel Price, guitarist from The Quiet Boys and Sambada plus special guests Lisa Grahame on Sax, Dave Priseman of Flavournauts on Trumpet, Cyril McCammon from Push on Fender Rhodes and Martin Pyne on vibes.

Produced and arranged by DJ Chris Bangs this album is going to make a lot of new friends for SoundscapeUK and the UK Jazz scene in general...

Other albums of Soundscape UK are

  •    Smooth With A Groove 1998

  •     Life Force 1996

    Uptown Groove


    One usually understands by the concept of soundscape a musical composition consisting of a texture of sounds or the sounds which form an auditory environment. Soundscape UK is more than this. The former Style Council-er Mick Talbot and Chris Bangs (Quiet Boys) create a contemporary soundscape with a whole flavour of it's own mixing Urban Groove, Jazz Funk, dancefloor music and Smooth Jazz. 

    Uptown Groove is the third milestone in the history of this music after the albums Smooth With A Groove of 1998 and Life Force 1996.

    The starter Uptown Groovin' is a clabbing dancefloor groove with george-benson-ish guitar sound and Lisa Grahame's  excellent lead sax.

    Never felt love , a retro-phillysound tune, reveals Opal's wonderful voice. A very rhythmical dance act with massive perssion support.

    Feel the love is a midtempo Smooth Jazz tune with a sultry duett between Lisa Graham's intimate sax and Nigel Price 's fabulous guitar playing anew in the George Benson style. The background percussion was delivered by the wellknown Gota Yashiki as groove activator.

    The new groove a rhythm-emphasized tune showcases Lisa Grahame's sax and Dave Priseman on trumpet and last not least Gota Yashiki with his gripping percussion.

    You make it heaven, an impressing cover of Terri Wells Classic, clarifies Opal's protruding chant-abilities.

    Steppin' out is dominated by Lisa Graham's saxophone supported in a change-play by Nigel Price 's guitar. 

    Higher and higher, a wonderful romantic duett between Lisa's sax and Dave's trumpet on a heavy rhythmical drumprogramming background, reminds me of Herb Albert's great tunes.

    More love is a slow piece with Opal's seductive vocals. One of those tunes, which would fit for those love songs compilations, we all appreciate. 

    East river drive accelerates the tempo to a dancefloor groove. Also this tune manifests the high quality arrangements. All songs without you make it heaven were written by Chris Bangs and Mick Talbot. More love was written by Opal and Chris Bangs.

    On the slowtempo followup Magic Hour we can anew listen to Opal 's mellifluous voice. She sings the lead and background vocals.

    What a tremendous finish! Terra Mia is a salsa, as one usually hear it from Gloria Estefan. I mention her name, because the tune reminds me of her similiar named tune Mi Tierra. Lisa Graham on flute and Dave Priseman on trumpet are the outstanding matadors of this piece.

    Well, if I had to rank this album, I would give a A+ without hesitating. This album is uncompromisingly but perfectly radiolike.

    © HBH