We May Be Skinny And Wirey
Stop, children, what's that sound? It's the funky soup symphony of the '90s, where the end of music tribalism means that anything goes....
STOP, CHILDREN, WHAT’S THAT sound? It’s the funky soup symphony of the ’90s, where the end of music tribalism means that anything goes. Homeboy Richard Ashcroft is on a hip-hop album and Puffy luvs the Foos. Every sub-Beck charlatan with a sampler is routinely feted as a brave traveller in vibes, and roots swots Gomez are declared the future of rock. Unbridled schizophrenia is taking us home.
Into this licentious musical exchange saunters one Cass Browne, ex-Senseless Things drummer. He’s got a vision, see; but not one of drum’n’bass remixes, oh no. Not for him, the passionless contortions of the promiscuously eclectic. He wants you to feel the love, the ‘one’ love. The love that powers the punk as well as the funk, drives the soul train, and twangs your banjo when you’re alone and bereft. Because, as someone once observed, there are really only two kinds of music: bad music and good music. Cass quite likes the second kind, and hopes you do too.
Fuelled by such cheesy sentiments as these, Delakota’s distillation of Stax, the Stones, and The Stone Roses into a breakbeat-infused elixir for our times could easily have ended up as so much derivative mulch. It wouldn’t have been the first time a rocker went to a rave, and came back a bad beatsman. But Cass and partner Des Murphy have successfully taken the clever-clever eclecticism of the ’90s, and given it the bright-eyed soul of the ’60s. From the many sounds in their heads has come one, frequently lovely, groove.
It starts off on top, with ‘C’mon Cincinnati’, a sneaky early white label turned scratch’n’mix statement of intent. It ends up with ‘Show Me The Door’, a home-style Primal Scream breakdown that shares ‘Cincinnati”s sweet loop. In between, sunny day soundtracks like ‘555’ and ‘The Rock’ sidle charmingly up to big beat mash-ups like ‘Brothers’, and some truly innovative noisemaking. There’s crackles, scrapes and weird experimental codas, as well as samples of astronauts marvelling down at the Earth from space. But Cass’ dulcet vocal – something like Tim Burgess’ – keeps it all resolutely in the realm of pop.
At times, like on the hushed ‘End Of The Line’, you wish it didn’t; because Delakota’s musical nous is such that you wonder what their more intrepid outtakes sound like. But when all that is solid is melting into air (but sadly not Air), Delakota’s easy-to-swallow antidote for the postmodern blues remains a welcome treat.