Sunday 29 April 2012

The Malex Kings - Welcome To Chicago EP

EP review by KevW

This is an intriguing one. The Malex Kings are the unlikely pairing of a French guitar virtuoso and an experimental dance producer from Spain, combining on an EP that's obsessed by the USA. It's a fairly distinctive sound they make too, based around 80s soft rock guitar noodling, nonchalant big beats and samples; it's guaranteed to divide opinion with very few sitting on the fence. Like your guitars of the slick Mark Knopfler variety and the vibe of commercial 90s trip-hop? Then you're quids in.

Beginning with a quote from The Blues Brothers and instantly overlaying it with some nifty fretboard polishing and chunky breaks, 'Welcome To Chicago' starts as it means to go on, followed by the metropolitan 'Dix-Neuf' which sticks to the same format with samples of traffic and police sirens. 'Jam Session' does exactly what it says on the tin, mixing seemingly random guitar squalls and vocal clips over a lazy beat, and 'Requiem For A Bluesman' is plastic soul lifted from the soundtrack to an imaginary 80s blockbuster; the whole EP has a film score feel to it, ending with the equally cinematic 'Behind The Church' which is a skewed and pensive soundscape. It's a cohesive EP and there's not a great deal in the way of variation, but if your ears have been pricked up by any of the references then you may want to give it a spin.

The Malex Kings' website

Buy the EP

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