Artist: Santos
Title: Home Sweet Home
Label: Distinctive Records
By: Jason Calvert | 1 February 2006
  1. Dry Intro
  2. I've Made Progress
  3. Elektro
  4. Stop! What?
  5. Combination
  6. Noizy Horn
  7. Experiment
  8. Tromba
  9. Human Decision Required
  10. Nice People
  11. Pump It Up!
  12. Wet Outro

Santos "Home Sweet Home"Santos "Home Sweet Home"

Out Now on Distinctive Records

Sante Pucello has been on top of his game for as long as I can remember. His chart topping "Camels" put him on the radar, and ever since then it has been pretty much uphill. What sets his music apart is a crafty edge which is often hard to find in the breakbeat scene. The ability of his tracks to work up a cutting edge groove to send the dancefloors into a frenzy, whilst also being highly original and often eclectic is a testament to his talent. Tracks such as "3-2-1 Fire" and "Sabot" have been favourites of mine since first hearing them, and his broad style means that for fans of electronic, there is very likely as least one Santos track which does it for you.

After building up a solid collection of work, Pucello culminated all of this into his first artist album titled "R U Shakadelic". The success of this album led him to working on a more cohesive second album (rather than a collection of singles). The result of this was "Abrasive", an album which is still near the surface of my ever-growing CD collection. So this brings us to his third album titled "Home Sweet Home". I can't recall Pucello ever putting a foot out of line in the past, so it goes without saying that I had high expectations for the album before listening to it.

After the doorbell ringing and crazy screaming on "Dry Intro", the album explodes with "I've Made Progress". Santos really doesn't muck about with warming us up, but throws us right into the madness, which serves as almost a wake up call, and effectively works up a hectic mood. The high ended synths are twisted up over a tight breakbeat groove, and this is one of those tracks which you can't help but jump up and throw your hands in the air to. The breakbeats continue on to "Elektro", but where "I've Made Progress" blended housier elements with breakbeat, as the name implies, this track blends more electro elements with a breakbeat. Lots of distortion here, and many blips and bleeps in the higher ranges.

Santos is set to screw with your head here, as "Stop! What?" gets even more twisted. Making a transition to a 4/4 foundation, the tough synths build with some downright eerie progression, and if you've been jumping around from the beginning you'll most certainly be worn out by the end of this track. Perhaps that's why Pucello has been nice enough to tone things down to give you a bit of a break with "Combination". Continuing in a 4/4 fashion, the track is a slow burner, but once it gets going it certainly has a very strong point to make. It seems the tracks aren't just getting more twisted, but they are even getting darker as we move on!

The tempo picks up again with "Noizy Horn", pushing some heavily filtered vocal snippets, and an insanely solid crowd-working build up. What I had really noticed by this point on the album, is that the plethora of synths and effects used seemed to be very different between tracks. It was very refreshing not to have to listen to a CD full of tracks with recycled synth lines and effects! To give the album yet another twist, "Experiment" is the first track placing a significant focus on vocals. The vocals may not make much sense, and perhaps a little off-key, but that is not their aim. They are there to help build on the funky/twisted mood the track pushes, and coupled with the repetitive underbelly of this track, the vocals finish the track off.

"Tromba" is a highly unique experience to listen through. The downright sexy and jazzy riffs of a muted trombone are coupled with a trademark Santos breakbeat, to provide one of the most interesting tracks I have heard in quite some time. Coming from a background in classical and jazz training, it was amazing to see how Pucello has brought together two almost opposing worlds. From here Santos turns things down a notch again, and the tempo is stripped back slightly. A good recovery track, which is simplistic in many ways, but as always, very effective.

Hopefully you used your time on that last track wisely, as "Nice People" is going to have you back on your feet in no time. The track seems to draw on influences used throughout the rest of the album, and brings in elements of house, electro, and breakbeat, along with a sliced vocal snippet to polish things off. We are treated to one more vocal number before the climax on "Pump It Up!", which pushes the tempo up a notch and goes back to a 4/4 groove. The foundations the track is built upon are absolutely off the wall, using repetitive guitar-esque loops and amazing percussion. A true crowd-worker, and if you haven't thrown your hands in the air to this one, something is up! The "Wet Outro" fires waves into our ears, leaving us drooling for more, and wishing it never finished.

After listening through this album, I can guarantee you will be worn out. If not physically, then certainly mentally. But I see this as a positive. Pucello has crafted his third album from beginning to end with non-stop madness. No filler material, no tracks wasted with material you need to skip through. Just a no-nonsense album guaranteed to drive you insane, and I mean that in the best possible way. It seems yet again that Santos has his direction set in mind, and takes it no matter what. Coming later in the year is another edition of Dictinctive's trademark "Y4K" series mixed by Madox and Santos, and going by this, that shall certainly be one worth checking out as well.

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