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Smokey Joe & the KidSmokey Joe & the Kid
Album: Running To The Moon
Label: Banzai Lab
Tracks: 13

Now, here's something you don't hear every day - a big, ballsy bag of real-time beats from Bordeaux drawn from a hundred years of transatlantic nightclub sounds. So, big band swing and jump jive propel new jack swing and French hip hop intercut with dialogue snatches and samples from films including Goodfellas and O Brother Where Art Thou?

Having announced itself with Ouverture, a track that's every bit as French and grand as its title demands it should be, the album gets down (and I mean gets down) to the business of fulfilling the funk. Whether dallying with Cotton Club whoopsy daisies, feeling the force with JB's horniest horn man Fred Wesley, or dogging round the bloc rockin' beats with veteran French hip hop legend Yoshi Di Original, Smokey Joe and the Kid stir up a righteous storm.

It's a jazzy, bluesy, funky, soulful strut of a joint that sounds organic as opposed to pre-programmed because it's all created live. It could easily have gone terribly wrong and sounded like a trip on The Mask soundtrack, but instead stand out track, The Gravel Sack Incident finds rap duo A State of Mind cutting swelling strings and smokin' sax lines with glammed up rhymes and widescreen picture story telling.

A pretty hot patootie, then.

Nick Churchill