more stuff wot i like bizznizz:
Space Cowboy - So You Like What You See/Prove Me Wrong
: All of the big Space Cowboy tracks prior to now (I'm thinking "I Would Die 4 U", "Always & Forever", "Put Your Hand In Mine") have this almos religious devotion to the second coming of French House. Religious because they're fervent, but also in the way that the beat will drop out and leave these awesomely cavernous, reverent organ-like synthesisers soundtracking the Ascension of Daft Punk. Real sonic cathedral stuff, you know the score. The endless repetition of "Put Your Hand In Mine" in particular is totally
religious; it's the house music equivalent of Hail Mary beads.
So these tracks on the album sampler come as a bit of a shock, junking the former religious purity in favour of a (ha ha) devilish impurism
. "So You Like What You See" is Jaxx style schizo-fusion, a sultry Prince-styled disco-pop song groaning under the weight of slithering electro melodies, Indian flutes and an enormous tabla beat that briefly emerges to shine on its own in what must be the most crudely effective breakdown since I don't know when. Basement Jaxx are
the obvious reference point, but this feels more like what Richard X might do if he allowed his arrangements to thaw into contact with contemporary sonics - sharing that same love of dense layering as opposed to the (marvellously) oppositional sonic conundrums that the Jaxx increasingly favour.
Prove Me Wrong
is simpler and sweeter, an endlessly looped but impossibly shiny
sitar flourish providing the impetus for an attempt at sunny hip hop, all nimble clipped beats and huge jungle bass. The UK rapper drafted on board isn't exactly inspired but it's hard to notice when the Scritti Pollitti falsetto coo in the chorus is so gorgeous. Inevitably I'm reminded of similar attempts like Scritti's "Tinseltown to the Boogiedown" and Saint Etienne's "Soft Like Me" - all three tunes are hip hop only in name, the beats and rhymes being somewhat incidental to the aspirations of the song as a whole. Not hip hop but dream-pop
, albeit of an unsual execution. "Prove Me Wrong" wouldn't have sounded too out of place on the last Bows album, its choruses primed for a blissful, self-negating transcendence.
Sizzla - All Is Well
: I think this is on Rise to the Occasion
- anyway, get it if you can 'cos it's more sorta sweet but kinda eerie falsetto-ish dancehall a la "Love & Affection". Also check out Vybz Kartel's "Robbery" on what seems to be the same riddim - yet another slinky eastern number, all this pent-up energy carrying over from bar to bar as can be found in the Wanted and Egyptian riddims (is this what Zemko/Chip/Prima on ILM means when he talks about "throb riddims"?).
Sophie Ellis-Bextor - The Walls Keep Saying Your Name
: Sophie's new album is middling to very good depending on my mood. This bizarro Emily Bronte styled goth-house-pop number is probably the best track: clever without sounding like it's trying too hard to be. The general rule with this album is that Sophie is better the more she lets her heart rule her head. See also: the seething "rock" of "You Get Yours".
Mark Ronson - Ooh Wee
: I liked this already but then I heard it while out dancing one night and it hit home quite forcibly just how much fun it is. Those strings! Plus Ghostface is a superlative party rapper and should do this sort of stuff more often. Some amazingly agile Jamaican girls absolutely slayed the dancefloor to this and Lucy Pearl's "Don't Mess With My Man" and Budden's "Pump It Up".