Will "Quantic" Holland is a rare breed. The U.K. programmer and multi-instrumentalist is a downtempo version of Prince. His latest release deemphasizes the trip-hop of 2002's Apricot Morning and 2004's Mishaps Happening in favor of something warmer and more organic. While Quantic's fourth effort does offer a couple shots of breakbeat vertigo ("Blow Your Horn," "Bomb in a Trumpet Factory"), they're all that remain of those early heroics.
Instead, An Announcement to Answer emphasizes its erotic mystique -- reminiscent of Verve's Remixed series -- focusing on loose, jazzy atmospherics. Songs overflow with sounds ranging from stout, sprinkled loops to resplendent horns. Asian strings on "Absence Heard, Presence Felt" set the tone for some fabulous world-beat grooves, Brazilian jazz, and electronica that envelop the listener. A St. Germain-Mr. Scruff-Fila Brazillia jam session wouldn't yield this much cosmopolitan cool. Best of all, Quantic's Sign o' the Times is still to come.