Zero 7 keyboard-supremo Neil Cowley hooks up with Blues & Soul journalist Ben Mynott for The Facts and the Dreams, the album follow-up to 2001’s acclaimed single “Nocturnal Beats”. In the process they notch up yet another collection of downbeat hits for the Bar De Lune imprint.
Decorating shuffling percussion with lashings of eased instrumentation and star-gazing keys, this 10-track outing is true to the duo’s reputation. Breaking the pattern of soft-cornered groove therapy with an occasional slice of cinematica, the glacial pianos of Barney Fade offer the most obvious reflection of the title’s reference to an obscure 1920s book on German architecture. Though ambitious, these soundtracked slivers are outgunned by the barrage of blissful, wandering Rhodes, brass honks and acidic bassline burbles that make up most of the intricate arrangements here.
“The Facts and the Dreams is sure to satisfy those who have in the past sought solace from the likes of Kinobe, Bent and Blue States.” –Kingsley Marshall