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Published: 2007/02/19
by Matt Brockett

Once You’re There EP – Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe


Once You're There, the latest release from Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, and
their first in four years, is an EP only available online. If you've ever
been even a casual fan of Denson just download it… NOW. At first you'll
probably think "Only five songs?" But after repeated listening you'll soon
realize that the Tiny Universe packs more punch into an EP than most cats
can cram into a full length.

Once You’re There captures the blistering live energy of the Tiny Universe
and jazzes it up with all sorts of slick production flourishes, adding a
fair bit of electronic flavor to their soulful funk rock. The rocking ode to
life on the road "Bag of Funk" gets things started off, but the super
electro disco funk of the title track is when the "new" KDTU sound really
takes hold. The evolving sound of the band is still very much their own, but
with a bit more Maceo Parker and a bit more New Deal flavor all thrown into
the mix. Brian Jordan's funky ass rock guitar has been a cornerstone of this
band from the beginning, and it most certainly still is, so if the words
"electro" or "disco" make you nervous, please don't let them.

The jazzy, horn-heavy "Matador" shows off the stop on a dime tightness that
is the trademark of practically every band Denson has assembled, be it the
Tiny Universe, the trio or any of his other projects. The throwback sound of
"Everything" could be the R&B radio hit of the summer for 1992, because
you're guaranteed to find yourself bopping your head to it, but you can't
help feeling totally cheesy while doing it. The closing "A System About To
Be Crushed" features Alfred Howard rapping over a rocking horn-laden
build-up that's bound to get you moving. Despite the undeniable punch these
five songs pack, at barely over 25 minutes it really just seems like a
tease, and hardcore fans will most certainly be left wanting more.

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