Rhythm & Views

Rondo Brothers

As producers and remixers, the Rondo Brothers (Jim Greer and Brandon Arnovick) recently lent their talents to projects by a gallery of artists including Dan the Automator, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Head Automatica, Bernie Worrell and MC Lars. As producers and musicians, they bring the same diversity and a real sense of style to their second Rondo Brothers release, Seven Minutes to Midnight.

The Rondo Brothers' touch is a light one, and all 17 tracks on the new CD have an airy, spongy sound, with slinky bass lines, bleeping keyboards and synths, easy-riding drum programming and mid- to down-tempo beats. Although the Rondo Brothers cover lots of territory, from hip-hop to synth-pop ("Come Down to Me") to modern Euro disco ("Still Your Ghost"), what they do best is funk it up in all sorts of ways. They can be cooly funky ("Dune Stalker"), low-key funky ("Until We All Fall Down") or deliver harder-driving, hip-hopping funk ("Liberation," "La La La [Get Out Now]"). They can also throw in curve balls like the glitchy "I Fell in Love." They certainly have the genre-bending, inventive tendencies of Beck down pat: "In the Valley" could be lifted directly from one of his records, vocals and all. Dreamy-voiced singers Kelly Atkins and Latrice Barnett shine throughout, as does vocalist and rapper Dirty Little Pedro.

The Brothers acquit themselves well on everything they do, especially on bass and programming. Despite the apocalyptic reference in the title, this is a terrific summer record: fun, easygoing and danceable.