Rodney ‘R.K’ Jackson had a dream to form a group that would fulfill his vision of taking his life long love of dance music to new heights. With an already proven track record as a multi-platinum producer/musician (Madonna and CeCe Peniston), Jackson was more than familiar in making remix magic. Now heading up a multi-media company that includes Urban Tracks Records, his quest was to find the right personnel who could mix old school soul and pop into a unique dance music experience. After choosing talent who worked with Jackson in the past -- soul vocalist Amber Dirks and rapper/lyricist Jimmie Alston -- the dream project of KopaTechnic was about to take shape.
With several singles under their belt including the maxi-single, When I Hit the Club, KopaTechnic releases their first full-length disc, Welcome to KopaTechnic. Welcome to KopaTechnic is an appropriate introduction to the trio’s take on beat-driven eighties style soul and pop. “Always” is an inviting upbeat ride driven by Jackson’s soothing tribal rhythms and sweetened by Dirks’ playful soul-packed voice. Alston provides a complimentary narrative to Dirks’ precious vocal ad-libs for “Don’t Be Afraid.” Jackson serves up juicy mid-tempo funk pockets for “Makes Me Feel.” Finally, the Reflex Mix of “When I Hit the Club” elevates the Chicago style house party grooves up several notches.
The aforementioned tracks on Welcome to KopaTechnic are a promising start. However, Dirks does not always tap into her full vocal potential and Jackson’s bag of beat tricks sometimes overshadows the true vocal caliber of Dirks and Alston. So while there are real moments of greatness on Welcome, in the end the disc is less than the sum of its parts; a result we hope will be rectified over time with future KopaTechnic releases.
Music: 2.0 stars
Lyrics: 2.0 stars
Vocals: 2.5 stars
Production: 2.5 stars
SoulTracks Call: Moderately Recommended
By Peggy Oliver