"Four On The Floor"
Four80 East doesn’t conceal the fact of just what floor is being referenced in the title of their latest project on the band’s own Boomtang Records label. Even if a dance floor is not in close proximity to you, the infectious rhythms and beats are expressive, artistic and full-on energetic glory
The five-song EP is just the latest example of the collaborative and creative genius of award-winning Toronto-based musicians, Tony Graceand Rob DeBoer. Combining Latin, dance, soul and electronica, Four On The Floor is superbly polished and arranged in one neatly contained package. The title song is rhythmically rich and heavy, with tight brass accompaniment and a guitar lead not unlike what the legendary Nile Rodgers laid down on many classic Chic tracks. The band infuses some Havana style heat on the Latin laced "Cinco Cinco Seis" and the vocal refrain of counting to six in Spanish is uncontrollably addictive.
In spite of the limited number of tracks on the EP, Four80 East blend in some vocal talent on two of the songs. Billboard charting artist, CeCe Penniston, who reached number 5 with her signature hit "Finally" in the early 90s, joins Rob and Tony on "Are You Ready?". Smooth and highly melodic, the song combines some of the great dance elements of the 70s and 90’s renaissance with a positive statement. The driving bass, percussion, piano and horn arrangements prove once again that Grace and DeBoer are production wizards. "Keep Love Moving" showcases some ‘soul-tronica’ with the addition of Toronto based R’n’B singer, Wade O. Brown. Though somewhat vocally repetitive, Brown puts on a spectacular performance that is reminiscent of the late and great soul legend, Teddy Pendergrass, on this track that sets your soul soaring free.
Whether or not Four80 East applied the ‘less is more’ theory on this five-song, musically contagious project, the only drawback I can ascertain is that there aren’t more tracks to satisfy my dance addition. But rest assured, after laying ears upon this, fans will certainly be demanding more.
Reviewed by Stu Berketo