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  SME Records -
  Herbie Hancock: Future Shock
  "Future Shock"

Herbie Hancock
Track listing:
  Single Layer
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 4

Reviews: 3

Review by lost_in_sf February 14, 2005 (6 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Hmmmm... where shall I begin?

Herbie Hancock has been a prolific musician since the 60s, and his style has been in constant change throughout his career. His early works had a strong naturalistic and jazzy feel, but in the 70s and 80s he focused on a more hardcore style with lots of electronica. His latest works (VSOP/Live Under the Sky, an excellent collection BTW) have come full circle back to a more traditional sound.

Future Shock is memorable (and easily recognizable) for many reasons, but I feel it stands out thanks to its powerful beat and unique sounds. I find it difficult to place in an exact genre; it's got a jazzy feel at times but it's almost entirely synthesized, and yet it's far too well written to qualify as "techno". Perhaps "techno for the discriminating listener" would be a decent label for it, or "fusion" or something. Whatever. Just be aware it's not traditional jazz by any stretch of the imagination and you'll be OK.

The first time I heard it I was enthralled with the variety of sounds and the excellent recording quality, and it was a real eye-opener. It starts off from the first track with a strong synthesized drum beat which continues throughout the entire recording. I've always felt Future Shock was a great showoff album for a stereo audio setup, as it's a very colorful album which makes good use of the entire sound spectrum. My favorite track is Earth Beat, which is an excellent mix of sampled instruments plus synthesized sounds and, true to its name, has a very earthy feel... but I think the whole thing is a real treat for the ears.

I haven't found any huge improvements of the SA-CD version over the original CD release (which was very good), but that's been very typical of my SA-CD experiences when I compare them against better-quality CD releases.

If you enjoy synthesized music, or maybe jazz with a very different sound, this album would be an excellent choice. It's definitely hardcore though, and perhaps not the best choice for a casual music listener unfamiliar with his unique musical style.

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Review by DeSelby February 7, 2005 (2 of 6 found this review helpful)
stereo sonics: that´s pure 80`s pop-jazz in perfect sound

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Review by pvcmusiclover January 16, 2013
Performance:   Sonics:
I love this album for it crazy, off the wall funk jazz hip hop or whatever you call it. I was really surprised an electronic album from the 80s was recorded on good quality tape, not PCM. There's a great separation of instruments in the album, as well as a nice 3D feel. The synthesized tones are really nice and clean. Treble is a bit hot, though.

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