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Someone who has heard dissent's first two albums (dissent and Bleeding Together) might be tempted to ask, "Will the real dissent please stand up?" That's because producer Gregory Howe's project has shown the music world two different faces: an electronica/downtempo/acid jazz/trip-hop face, and an improvising jazz-funk face. Which is the real dissent -- which dissent is Howe the most comfortable with? Actually, Howe sounds like he is comfortable wearing both hats, and truth be told, both are valid parts of his artistry. Originally released in 1998 and re-released in 2001, this self-titled debut album is more of a jazz-funk outing than an electronica outing. Howe makes some electronica moves at times; for example, that side of his artistry asserts itself on "Corporate Voodoo." But for the most part, this is an album of instrumental jazz-funk with a strong '70s influence -- and a horn-friendly band sound prevails on tracks like "Thoughts on Freedom," "925," and "So Damn Phisticated." These tunes have more to do with musicianship than production gloss -- players like guitarist Calvin Keys and trombonist Michael Rinta have room to stretch out -- whereas dissent's electronica-oriented second album, Bleeding Together, is very much a technology-oriented producer's disc. Of course, the term jazz-funk can mean different things to different people; on this album, Howe favors a more mysterious style of jazz-funk -- one that is closer to '70s-era Miles Davis than the down-home soul-jazz of Funk, Inc. or the Crusaders. This CD isn't recommended to jazz purists or bop snobs; the material is way too funky and backbeat-minded to appeal to the Wynton Marsalis/Stanley Crouch crowd. But dissent's debut is worth hearing if you like your jazz laced with a big dose of funk/soul and don't mind the occasional detour into electronica.