Sunday, 8 September 2013

Hello Skinny - Revolutions

EP review by jay@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk


The skinny behind Hello Skinny is in-demand and coveted drummer Tom Skinner. Here he is the full creative force, and it is some force. Yes, this is beats led, but this isn't some drumming indulgence. The beats and rhythms here are sublime, infectious and irresistible. Opener 'Revolution Pt. 1' has inflections of some of the great rhythmic drummers such as Tony Allen and Ginger Baker. But like already mentioned, this is no indulgence and the song ebbs and flows, with modern touches of Burial and Caribou, while melding it with Afrobeat jazz undercurrent. It is a transfixing song that could of come from one of Fela Kuti's stunning jams.
'Revolutions Part 2' is the twisted, six-fingered, webbed-toed cousin of '… Part 1'. It has no true form and is an exercise in pushing the forms of convention with discordant horns and freeform crashes and drums. It is unlikely that you would visit more than once, then it acts as a cleanser to lead into some rather wonderful remixes that close out the EP.

'Crush' is remixed by Zero 7 and steps away from their integral, sometimes bland beats, to capture the adventure and looseness of Hello Skinny as heard in '… Part 1', while adding some enlightening electronic touches of their own. 'Crush' evolves into a great dance song which recalls Underworld or the Chemical Brothers at their most adventurous. Better still is the Crewdson remix of 'Knot Blue'. It perfectly captures the challenging yet accessible nature of Hello Skinny, while delivering a song of near epic scope wrapped in a delightful cocoon of electronic washes of sounds. Finally we arrive at 'Bump', remixed by Pete Wareham. Here 'Bump' is taken on a darker route, pushing and warping the baritone sax into something sinister and urgent. Leading the song into a shadowy place, imbibing it with a sense of menace, yet like the best horror, you find yourself compelled to listen. With his 'Revolutions' EP Hello Skinny has given us a challenge, and if you meet it, you will find some quite special and interesting pleasures.



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