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Veba vs Grand Central


Review: Rob Lord

VEBA is described as the first lady of Grand Central. Personally, I give that honour to Kate Rogers, who starred in her own Kate Rogers vs Grand Central album.

Veba is a different singer to Kate. Kate provides the sultry, soft vocals and Veba provides the more powerful, soul vocals.

This compilation showcases Veba’s work with various Grand Central artists, though this is mainly Rae & Christian or Mark Rae. There’s no AIM or Jon Kennedy here.

Having seen Veba live, I can honestly say she fills the room with her presence - her voice booms out, and she is a floor shaker. And that’s exactly what she does here.

With the majority of the tracks, you stop listening to the music and just hear Veba. She roars and rumbles across the tracks and for the most part, it's music to my ears.

There are two mixes of the Rae & Christian classic, Spellbound. The old English mix seems to lack any bite, and although it plods along nicely, it’s a bit of a damp squid.

The other mix, the Rae & Christian Central Heating Mix,. is much better. The music matches the pace of Veba’s delivery. It breaks and builds to a crescendo, the classic flute section floating over the top. This is a mix to complement Veba’s style, and feels like a more complete song.

Rae & Christian’s All I Ask, Swansong and Fool are all great vehicles for Veba. Her voice really towers against the haunting beats. Beautifully produced, Veba.

Mark Rae’s Lavish kicks in slightly faster than most, sounding up to date and with a sense of purpose Veba effortlessly soars over the breaking beat and samples. This is classic Grand Central. Mark Rae cuts the tune in and out, up and down. Excellent.

On the other two contributions from Mark Rae, Without You Now and Fold or Flower, Veba steals the show.

I can’t remember the music; I just have Veba’s vocals bouncing off the walls inside my head. If I’m forced to remember the music I’d say Without You Now is slowed down disco ditty and Fold or Flower is a faced paced disco ditty, but does that really matter?

Tony D’s only contribution, Don’t Want To Lose You, is a more sombre affair. Veba is toned down, preferring to almost whisper at times. More tortured, it adds balance against the mainly upbeat nature of the CD.

Fingathing don’t do vocal tracks, so Slippin is their only one.

The typical bass line plucks and cuts through the beats. Veba rises above and fights the bass. She adds the lighter part to a dark track. The chorus absolutely blows through the speaker.

There’s just something about that double bass of theirs. If this CD is about Veba, then this track is about Fingathing. Veba makes her appearance, but in the end she’s blown away. I can’t get enough of that bass.

Only Child gets a look in with Addicted, all squelching bass and off key piano. This is not his finest moment and feels a bit too Saturday night for my liking.

Veba vs Grand Central will take you on a journey through old Grand Central to new, through beats to disco, all the time ensuring that Veba remains consistently on form.

My only complaint is that I have most of these tracks. There’s not a lot new here, though if you’re a first-timer who wants to meet Veba, then this provides a perfect introduction.

 

Track listing:
1. Rae & Christian Spellbound [old english mix]
2. Rae & Christian All I Ask [DJ Spinna Mix]
3. Mark Rae Lavish [deadbeats mix]
4. Tony-D Don't want to lose you
Fingathing slippin
5. Rae & Christian Swansong
6. Mark Rae Without You Now
7. Mark Rae Fold or Flower
8. Rae & Christian Fool
9. Only Child Addicted
10. Rae & Christian Spellbound [R&C Central Heating Mix]


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