Here’s an idea of what dancefloor supremos [a]Phats & Small[/a] sound like over an entire album. About halfway through you realise the same four-second loop of beats has been playing without the barest alteration for the past ten minutes. Maybe the CD repeat button is jammed, you think! Or perhaps the CD is stuck in the manner of a scratchy old 12″! Then again, maybe that’s just[a]Phats & Small[/a]’s idea of a good time.
If it’s yours, the, erm, hilariously titled ‘Now Phats What I Small Music’ probably does the job perfectly. As recent ubiquitous singalong singles ‘Turn Around’ and ‘Feel Good’ warned, this has repetitive beats and catchy hooks filling every spare second, spewing forth the duo’s ecstatic good-time feelings like nine-to-five, Council Tax and lunchtime queues in the bank had never been invented. Irritatingly for the more earthbound among us, near-legendary clubbers and Brighton-based DJs Russell Small and Jason Phats sound like they spend their life in a state of Ibiza bliss without the sunburn and delayed charter flights. And as this record’s sure-to-be-huge success will prove, that probably sounds brilliant on holiday.
But if ever the humble album format wasn’t right for a job, it’s now. Committing the holiday (ahem) vibes to record simply kill them. In the sanity of your own home, you realise just how annoying ten jovial and not dissimilar tracks played in succession sound. You grasp how little effort goes into making one of these disco-cheese ‘anthems’. And you finally understand why everyone takes so many drugs in Ibiza. It’s the only way to stop this endless musical torture driving them crazy.
How much of this you can stomach will therefore be directly related to the average number of minutes a month you spend wishing you were tripping out of your tiny mind on a Mediterranean island. But don’t be fooled. You wouldn’t dig out your sun cream and shorts in late November and [a]Phats & Small[/a] are merely their musical equivalent.