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3rd Door Left

Get your favorite brandy and your plushest Italian sofa ‘cause Hacienda is here with the international lounge-core sounds off their third LP. The musically mature German duo Jurgen Kadel and Markus Finger have been producing quality tunes combining a host of international influences since their debut LP Sunday Afternoon in 1996 on the Harthouse label. Exploring less of the trip hop sound of their previous efforts, Hacienda has pieced together a fine amount of new material pushing further into the realms of Bossa Nova, Afro-Cuban, Dub, Funk and Brazilian influences. 3rd Door Left is a perfect soundtrack for a lazy, contemplative Sunday afternoon or the theme for the romantic escapades of the elite jet culture. If you simply can’t afford the private jet, don’t sweat it; your living room will work just as well. I found that a quality gin and the company of a lady work best.

Don’t get me wrong, this album is by no means highbrow; but the international influence of tracks like "Working Class Glamour" will make you want that new Armani suit and the last of the Sergio Mendez records to complete your collection. The complexity of the writing is superb and their combo of samplers, synths, organs, Hammonds, and various guest musicians bring together digital and acoustic instruments to create a rich organic sound. As I listened to the album a few times over poker and cocktails, the mood of the record jumps from the lounge, to the bedroom and into the sunroom as a variety of themes and emotions are explored. The sultry and melancholic vocals of Hacienda’s guests on songs like "Quiet Nights" are in both Portuguese and English and really add to the content of the work by taking you far beyond the emotional limits of a strictly instrumental album. Other artists try to bring this type of sound to their work by incorporating digital and acoustic elements but they sometimes sound too structured and repetitive. Hacienda’s tunes are so smooth and orchestrated you’d think they had a twelve piece band backing them.

In addition to the sunny day mellow tunes and the heart-felt melancholy of their piano and vocal arrangements, Hacienda stirs up some party tracks like the disco/ house feel of "Nightflight." This song will make for perfect listening as you cruise from the lounge to the club in your crushed velvet outfit. "Seventy Steps to the 80’s" should be first choice when you wake up hung-over the following morning and have no clue whose bed you’re in. Be sure to check out the dub influence on "Mexican Dubweiser" and the seductive Rhodes and piano work on "Late Lounge Lover." This is great album for a variety of environments and will be in the top ten selections when I want to romance my lady friend. If you wind up getting dumped after the party, there are still some tracks guaranteed to jerk a couple of tears.

-Justin Hardison

Track Listing:

  1. Working Class Glamour
  2. Sabor
  3. Late Lounge Lover
  4. Blue Smile
  5. Incredible Shocking DJ Updates 01
  6. Seventy Steps to the 80’s
  7. Unfinished and Undone
  8. Me Da Um Favor
  9. Nightflight
  10. Mexican Dubweiser
  11. Incredible Shocking DJ Updates 02
  12. Nord-O.S.T.
  13. Blind
  14. Poeme (for the love of…)
  15. Incredible Shocking DJ Updates 03 (instrumental)
  16. Quiet Nights
  17. Sabor Reprise

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