Look Around The Corner – Quantic & Alice Russell With The Combo Bárbaro

I bought Look Around The Corner without ever having heard one note from the album.

Quantic + Alice Russell + The Combo Bárbaro made it.  What more did I need to know?

Quantic & Alice Russell with the Combo Bárbaro - Look Around the Corner (2012)

Quantic (aka Will Holland) – whose many differently-flavoured, all fantastic musical concoctions you already know, and if you don’t can check out here.

Will Holland (aka Quantic) @ WOMADelaide 2014

Quantic DJ Set @ WOMADelaide 2014

Alice Russell – whose beautiful soul music and inspiring lyrics have been heard and loved by me and countless others in the world in the know about her, for a long time.  If you’re not in that group of Knowers, sample Alice Russell’s music below.

Quantic & Alice Russell with the Combo Barbaro - Look Around the Corner

Alice Russell

The Combo Bárbaro – a collective of incredibly experienced and brilliant (mostly Latin) musicians with whom Will Holland/Quantic has collaborated with on past albums.

Quantic And His Combo Barbaro - Tradition In Transition

So did my blind faith in Quantic, Alice Russell and The Combo Bárbaro based on their much-loved past musical creations pay off? Did I get my money’s worth in buying Look Around The Corner?

The amount of play-time this album’s had so far already, tells me Yes to both questions. More importantly the very unique sounds of this music mean I’ll probably want to listen to it for a lifetime.  And that’s ultimately what makes any album become part of the “most valuable” group in my music collection.

Quantic & Alice Russell with the Combo Barbaro - Look Around the Corner (2012)

Look Around The Corner is fusion as defined here in Beaver Land. Great fusion. Twelve tracks of soul and funk tastefully and subtlely blended with the sounds of Latin jazz, cumbia and boogaloo. Ain’t no music in the world I’ve yet heard that sounds like the music created here by Quantic, Alice Russell and The Combo Bárbaro.

The sounds of the violin in this group’s music (Mike Simmonds) adds an especially unique sound to the mix. As does the magic of Peru’s Alfredito Linares’ hands on the piano.

Check out these sample tracks (mp3-only versions) from Look Around The Corner. The album was released by Tru Thoughts and feel-in-your-hands, smell-through-your-nose, see-with-your-eyes, good sound quality versions are super-easy to buy direct through their site. Or you can find it at any good independent record store yes? Look Around The Corner even comes in sweet vinyl.

Quantic & Alice Russell with The Combo Barbaro - Look Around the Corner (2012)

Quantic & Alice Russell with the Combo Barbaro - Look Around the Corner (2012)

‘I’d Cry’ – Look Around The Corner – Quantic & Alice Russell with The Combo Bárbaro


The next track’s here for Alfredito Linares’ piano especially – and because this great contemporary take on a 1974 song covered by many artists since, is a great reflection of the fabulous global evolution of music.

‘I’ll Keep My Light In My Window’ – Look Around The Corner – Quantic & Alice Russell with The Combo Bárbaro


Anyone who’s not yet in that group of ‘Knowers and lovers of Alice Russell music’ can check out these here sample tracks from my favourite of her solo albums Under The Munka Moon

Alice Russell - Under the Munka Moon (2004)

Alice Russell – Under the Munka Moon (2004)

‘Someday’ – Under The Munka Moon – Alice Russell


‘Tired Little One’ – Under The Munka Moon – Alice Russell


You can also buy Alice Russell’s albums on-line through Tru Thoughts.

If you’re not yet convinced you need to buy Look Around The Corner for yourself, you can check out a video here of Will Holland, Alice Russell and The Combo Bárbaro recording the album’s title track at Sonido Del Valle, Will Holland’s recording studio in Cali. The short glimpse of the delightfully-vast vinyl collection is enough reason alone to watch. The music played in it is more.

Quantic & Alice Russell with the Combo Barbaro - Look Around the Corner (2012)

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Magnetica – Quantic At His Most Diverse Yet

Each album I hear from U.K producer and musician Will Holland, the latest being Magnetica (released as Quantic), I wonder at how one artist can be responsible for producing so many musically-diverse bodies of work of such goodness.

Quantic (aka Will Holland) @ WOMADelaide 2014

Will Holland (aka Quantic)

Magnetica probably contains the most diversity of all Will Holland’s previous albums so far. Thirteen tracks, each one totally different to the next in terms of music genres, vocal languages and contributing musicians and singers from different corners of the globe.

Quantic - Magnetica (2014)

Magnetica (2014) – Quantic

You’ll hear on Magnetica

The sounds of music from Brazil, Colombia, England, Ethiopia, Angola and Jamaica…

Elements of folk, soul, jazz, groove, curulao, kuduro, semba, chandé, electronica, highlife, cumbia, reggae, dub, ska, dancehall, salsa & more…

Vocals sung in English, Portugese, Amharic, Spanish and English – including by Quantic himself ending Magnetica with the beautiful, dreamy track ‘Painting Silhouettes’…

…and instrumental and vocal contributions from incredible worldwide artists including Pongo Love, Alice Russell, Dereb the Ambassador, Shinehead, Nidia Góngora, Julio Ernesto “Fruko” Estrada, Michi Sarmiento, Angel Hernandez, Thalma de Freitas, Iara Rennó and Anibal Velasquez.

The common thread amongst it all is Quantic’s always great tastes in music and innovative electronic production style.

I love musical (and all other diversity) – I am a Gemini 🙂 . I love the particular musical styles that make up the mix of Magnetica. I was also already a long-time fan of many of the contributing artists on this album – as well as Will Holland himself. For those and other reasons, Magnetica has already had countless listens by me over the past month and will get many, many more in my lifetime.

Quantic - Magnetica (2014)


Given the diversity of tracks on Magnetica, picking ‘sample’ ones to give you an idea of the album’s sound is almost impossible.

I’m choosing ‘Sol Clap’ just because I’m a sucker for horns and the song brings back good memories of dancing to it amongst the trees at Quantic’s recent DJ set at WOMADelaide 2014 (check out the video below).  ‘Arada’ is here because I’m excited about checking out a live Dereb the Ambassador gig at The Basement in Sydney next week.

Quantic - Magnetica (2014)

Magnetica (2014) – Quantic

‘Sol Clap’ – Quantic – Magnetica


‘Arada (Featuring Dereb The Ambassador)’ – Quantic – Magnetica


Hear all the sounds of the diverse musical goodness on the album in non-mp3 format – and have them in your music collection forever after – by buying Magnetica on vinyl or cd from your local independent record store or through Quantic’s label Tru Thoughts.

Quantic - Magnetica (2014)


You can also read more about and hear sample tracks from Will Holland / Quantic’s other music projects here.

And check out a video of a recent Quantic DJ set in Australia at WOMADelaide 2014 here…

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Will Holland (aka Quantic) – Master Chef of Fusion

British artist Will Holland (aka Quantic) has absolutely awesome tastes in music. At least according to where my musical heart is at.

Those tastes are reflected in and are a part of, the absolutely awesome and innovative music he has created in each of his many musical projects over more than a decade.

Master Fusion Chef

Will Holland is a Master Chef of fusion music as I talk about it in Beaver World.

In his interchanging roles of musician, producer, song writer, arranger, band leader and DJ, he blends worldwide sounds and flavours to create unique, diverse, delicious musical cocktails.

Ondatrópica - www.beaveronthebeats.com

The ingredients Will Holland uses for those musical cocktails are of the absolute best sort you see…

Sweet Vinyl

*Sweet sounding, old vinyl records of music from musically amazing parts of the world…Africa –  the South & Central Americas – and the Caribbean (+ the UK &  Europe too 🙂 )

…personally collected by Will Holland from those & other corners of the world.

Will Holland (aka Quantic)

The Finest of Genres

Music mixing up different combinations of…

*FunkSoulR&BAfro Beat & other African styles – JazzHip HopIndianReggaeDub – MentoCalypso – Latin in its every-so-many forms, especially the beloved Cumbia + CurrulaoChirimiaRumbaBossa NovaMamboFandangoPorroPachangaBugalu, and many more.

Awesome tastes in music, yes indeed.

Top Quality Artists

*So many different collaborations with always incredible (many of them legendary) music artists from around the world. Lots of them are Colombian, especially in recent years while Will Holland has been based in Colombia. Given my love for Colombian music in all its diverse forms, that’s an extra special element in this music for me.



*Sometimes the artists contributing to a song are recording their parts in different studios around the world.  Exceptionally in these days of sound recording, Will Holland’s projects also often have all the musicians playing and recording together in the same room at the same time.  The musicians, singers and engineers are more than enough skilled to do that – and the special essence of them creating music together in that moment, is captured as it should be.

*The artists are old school and new school ones, young and old.

*Will Holland is of course one of them – most often on guitar, and more recently on accordian too.


Sounds of the Good Ol’ Days

*Vintage instruments.

*Analogue recording equipment.

*Old school recording techniques and almost-forgotten engineering skills.

*Live recordings of vocals and instrumental parts by artists, instead of the use of samples.

The Quantic Soul Orchestra - Tropidelico

The different combinations of all those ingredients in Will Holland’s many musical projects, equals a long discography of diverse, high quality, warm and textured sounding musical creations. Each one is a delight to listen and dance to.

Quantic Creations So Far

Here are just some of Will Holland’s musical creations to give you an idea of the goodness to be found in the entire collection…

*I’ve talked before about the Colombian fusion music treasure that is Ondatrópica (check it and sample Ondatrópica songs here).


*Collaborations with Alice Russell, including their soulful, bluesy album Look Around The Corner recorded with The Combo Barbaro.

Quantic & Alice Russell - Look Around The Corner

*Los Miticos Del Ritmo – a 2013 album written by Will Holland and recorded with he and his studio band of Colombian cumbia & vallenato musicians.

Los Miticos del Ritmo - Quantic

*The Quantic Soul Orchestra with 60’s jazz-funk-soul diva Spanky Wilson on the album I’m Thankful.

Spanky Wilson & The Quantic Soul Orchestra - I'm Thankful

*The Original Sound of Cumbia – a history collection of obscure, vintage Colombian cumbia & porro tracks from between 1948 to 1979 – divided between 2 discs by their status as either pre or post externally-influenced music.

The Original Sound of Cumbia - Quantic

 *Quantic’s dub/tropical Latin albums Flowering Inferno (Death of the Revolution + Dog With a Rope).


*Lots more fusions (and not) of rare funk, soul, jazz, breakbeat, hip hop, Latin, Afro, reggae, dub + more – on these & other albums and singles released as Quantic or The Quantic Soul Orchestra

Finally for now, check out some sample tracks from two of my favourite albums in the Quantic collection – Tropidelico and Tradition In Transition.  When you listen, please remember there’s not many original sounds of the music left in these here mp3 versions.  Buy the real deal for the true sonic experience.

The Quantic Soul Orchestra – Tropidelico (2007)

The Quantic Soul Orchestra - Tropidelico

‘Melodious Wayfarer (Soul Montuno)’ – Tropidelico (2007) 

‘San Sebastian Strut (Cumbia Soul)’ – Tropidelico (2007)

Quantic And His Combo Barbaro – Tradition In Transition (2009)

Quantic And His Combo Barbaro - Tradition In Transition

This album features, amongst other great artists, legendary Peruvian born piano player Alfredo Linares; Panama’s beloved soul singer Kabir;  a beautiful horn section that makes me smile with each note played (Cuban trumpet player Angel Hernandez and Colombian Lucho Blanco on sax); with Will Holland on guitar.

‘Mas Pan’ – Tradition In Transition (2009) 

‘Linda Morena’ – Tradition In Transition (2009) 

More Quantic Music Soon & For Forever

Will Holland’s musical creations can be yours to have and behold forever, on sweet vinyl and/or cd. If absolutely necessary (let’s hope it never is), on mp3 too. You can buy them through Tru Thoughts Recordings (along with music by the label’s other great artists) or the Quantic site.

Keep an ear out for whatever fusion (or other) music wonders Will Holland has in store for us next. I’m also still hoping for a live Ondatrópica experience somewhere in my future.

In the meantime who’s coming to WOMADelaide in March to dance some Quantic DJ sets away with me?  Given all of the above, it’s pretty easy to believe that whatever musical cocktails Will Holland has in store for us at WOMAD will be absolutely awesome too. Less than 6 weeks to wait now!

Will Holland (aka Quantic)

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Ondatrópica – Fusion Music Treasure

The Ondatrópica Recipe:

1. Find English producer and musician Will Holland (aka QuanticQuantic Soul Orchestra) where he is based in Cali, or wherever else in the world he is touring.  Join him up with Mario Galeano, leader of Colombian fusion band Frente Cumbiero, and also collaborator with the one and only Mad Professor.

Ondatrópica - www.beaveronthebeats.com

2. Then find 40 more of Colombia’s (and other Latin countries) most talented and experienced musicians, representing different generations and different musical genres.

Ondatrópica - www.beaveronthebeats.comOndatrópica - www.beaveronthebeats.comOndatrópica - www.beaveronthebeats.comOndatrópica - www.beaveronthebeats.com

3. Put all of those artists together into legendary, old school recording studio Discos Fuentes in Medellin, with analogue production equipment.  Keep them there for about 3 weeks.

Ondatrópica - www.beaveronthebeats.com

What do you get at the end?

Ondatrópica - Ondatrópica (2012) - www.beaveronthebeats.comThe Ondatrópica album:  an incredibly unique and brilliant Colombian fusion music album in which traditional meets modern in a very exciting way.

In the tracks on just one album, Ondatrópica have successfully managed to combine and showcase, in stellar style, the vast richness and diversity of traditional and contemporary Colombian music in all its many forms.   The music is a  quality blend of cumbia, jazz, salsa, bossa nova, gaita, electro, hip hop, champeta, porro, dub, ska, afro beat, funk, beat box, and probably more :).

Check out some sample tracks from the Ondatrópica album yourself.  You’ll see what I mean. Serious mp3 sound quality warning here.  Buying the real album (easy on-line) will give you so much more listening pleasure with all its quality, varied, intricate sounds.

I Ron Man


Black Sabbath fans…What say you about Iron Man Colombian style?

Ska Fuentes


So we all agree about the album’s brilliance yes?

Well then, what do you get next when some of those 42 Ondatrópica musicians go on tour to perform live around the world?  A pretty incredible and unique live music experience, I imagine, and hope to find out for sure when I can.

 Ondatrópica - www.beaveronthebeats.com

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