CD Review: John B, Catalyst (We Like The Music)

I'm finally getting around the first of the promised CD review series here at CatSynth. Just one of many articles waiting in a growing queue while “life happens…”

Remember the chillin' kittens? Of course not. But it was a cute animation done by folks who brought us the “Viking Kittens”, featuring a jazz combo of cute kittens “chillin' out” on the beach to “We Like the Music (Latino mix)” by John B.

John B is a UK-based electronica artist, more recently known for his remixes of 80s synth pop, 80s-style spiky hair, and working alongside “cutting-edge artists” like Justin Timberlake. However, before selling out, he released several interesting “jazzier” albums between 1999 and 2001 on his Beta Recordings, including Catalyst. This album is not easy to get. The Beta Recordings sight kept giving me SQL database errors (and indeed the entire site acts a little odd in Safari and Firefox). does not appear to carry this release. I did manage to find one via eBay's store in July.

Catalyst is a 2-disc album featuring John B's, drum&base and “electro-funk” work from 1999, mixing either real or imaged jazz/funk phrases and recordings with electronic beats. Some are extremely fast and high-energy, others are more dreamy, trance, or chill-out music. Somewhere between the two extremes lies the track “We Like the Music.” It's lot more electronica/drum-and-bass than the Latino mix, but it has the same brass licks. I definitely like the Latino mix better used by the kittens, the latin rhythms and softer feel has a lot more “character” to my ear. Unforunately that version is one the even-more-difficult-to-find Redox – Catalyst Reprocessed. I have also been unable to find it at any of the digital distribution sites. So for now, I'll probably have to stick with the kittens.