Album review
Kap Horn
Lychee Lassi
Styles - S.W.A.M.P. Records
01 - 11 - 2001

Tracking list

  1. Intro
  2. The Struggle
  3. Brötzelisation
  4. Rumblin'
  5. Shades Of Mosley
  6. Alonzo's Theme
  7. Durch Wald Und Wiesen
  8. Whistlin'
  9. Der Pfälzer (Superfly)
  10. Pushing The Boundaries
  11. Ranzo Rizzo
  12. Krystal Karrington
  13. Largo
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Samples/Scratches : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3/4

A lychee lassi is not only an exotic blended cold yoghurt drink, but also the German (Berlin) group with members Dirk Berger, playing guitars and some keyboards, Beat Halberschmidt on contrabass, and Seeed's turntable wizard DJ Illvibe and drummer Sebastian 'Based' Krajewski, serving up an incredible blend of jazz, hiphop, electro, funk, reggae and turntablism. Mixed and produced by Seeed's longtime engineer/producer Olsen Involtini, this CD is not for purists. That is NOT for purists, whether you're into hiphop, jazz, reggae, turntablism doesn't matter, this CD is only to be recommended to the open-minded and open-eared. But if you consider yourself to be that open, give it a try. In its first incarnation the bass in Lychee Lassi was played by Jan Roder, who had played before with worldfamous German jazz pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach, yes indeed, the father of Vincent 'DJ Illvibe' von Schlippenbach. This CD kicks off with the completely scratched "Intro", for those who have visited one or more Seeed concerts it is in the same vein as some of DJ Illvibe's 'skill demonstrations' in their performances. "The Struggle" is a track with wicked "Discuss Or Defend" sample, over a jazzy beat that is topped with some nervous electro keyboard effects. "Brötzelisation" is a scratched beat with a nice guitar riff by Dirk Berger, who recently played the additional guitars featured on Seeed's latest release "The Electric Boogie EP". "Rumblin' " is not much more than some nice scratches and samples over a groove but still works in keeping your attention. "Shades Of Mosley" is a slow 'reggae blues' that is for me one of the strongest tracks of the album, followed by "Alonzo's Theme", a bouncy groove that might not be one of the most adventurous tracks on this disc, but that still means it's pretty off-beat. "Durch Wald Und Wiesen" is very experimental, with samples of and pretending to be from birds over a pure jazz contrabass and picked guitar, with strange vocal samples (in German a little story about walking in the woods and spotting birds, as well as in English some 'ride that funky beat' samples) over no or a slow jazzy or a scratched beat. 7 minutes of pure experiment, that might still grab you as they grab me. Probably undeductable from this description, but the song actually swings, because of the groove the bass and guitar do create against this backing. "Whistin' " is 32 seconds of a typical jazz trio bassline over some guitar chords with a strange kazoo-imitation over it. With "Der Pfälzer (Superfly)", "Pushing The Boundaries" and "Ranzo Rizzo" a funky trio is presented, and it is just amazing how groovy this weird combination of hiphop beats, samples, scratches, a jazzy bass and some guitar and keyboard effects on top can actually be. "Krystal Karrington" deserves a mention for the title alone, taking us by to the days of 'Dynasty' with Alexis and Blake, the song itself being nothing more than a solid groove. Last song "Largo" is a bluesy adventure, wonderful female vocal sample, than a male answer echoing minuteslong, over a crispy dry beat, followed by a nice piano solo, before a twisted melody takes over again, very experimental 4 minute ride, that doesn't really end this disc, because after almost 4 minutes more there is a short acoustic bluesy drinking song "Keine Sorgen" meaning "No Worries". This CD was originally scheduled to be sold during Seeed's Fall/Winter Tour 2001, but in fact went 'down the drain' because of the cancelation of that tour due to serious illness of one of Seeed's vocalists. It is still available through some German websites, and soundsnatches of it can be heard at Lychee Lassi.