Art Bleek ‘Art Supplies’

Art Bleek / ‘Art Supplies’

CD / MP3

Lounging Recordings / Released December 20th 2010

A tune about how often men should have sex in order to reach peak performance. Tribe or People Under The Stairs style smoked out lounge-hop. Block party booty music.

If any of those things sound appealing, then welcome to the world of Arthur Pochon, aka Art Bleek. Trained in Boston, he moved on to become a Parisian studio wizard before kick starting his own recording career under this particular pseudonym back in 2001. Art Supplies is the follow up to his debut long player, released three years after this project began, and is a welcome ray of sunshine breaking through the cold winter sky.

It’s difficult not to smile warmly as the Luther Vandross sounding, Mandel Turner sung Friends sleazes out of your speakers, oozing old school sex appeal. That the excellent MC-singer Ursula Rucker then kicks off on The Hunt Dance is, by this point in the album, familiarly diverse ground. Like a celebration of all things urban and pre-grime (or should that just be non-UK), it’s beats like these that make you realise why America’s blueprint still wins out.

And the instrumentals aren’t bad either. Twice Upon A Time features acclaimed musician Airelle Besson on trumpet, and isn’t a million miles from the kind of soundtracks thrown out by The Cinematic Orchestra. On the whole it’s a producer’s album, 13 cuts of fresh stereo meat, created as part of a collaborative process with other artists. And, as track of the album Rise proves to emotive effect, it’s a fine example of just that, here made more impressive by the amount of instruments the man behind the mixing desk was also playing.