Thursday, 8 July 2010
PRE-ORDER: Oriol - Coconut Coast EP [Planet Mu]
For a label that could so easily have been left lumped in with the stigmatised IDM set, Planet Mu’s not half managed to pull itself well away from any easy pigeon holing. The last few years – since they aligned themselves to the nascent dubstep scene, really, athough it’s been most apparent since that sound has branched off in all directions – have seen an explosion in diversity quite separate from almost any other imprint out there. In that sweeping statement I also include Hyperdub, which along with Mu has probably done more than almost any label in recent memory to break out of its comfort zone and head off on exciting detours. But while Kode9’s baby has remained beholden to variants on a localized theme (no bad thing, mind), Planet Mu seems to have disregarded them completely. This year alone, alongside snippets from the usual bass set – Ikonika, Jamie Vex’d/Kuedo, Swindle, Terror Danjah – has seen them snap up albums from both footwork maestro DJ Nate and unknown chillwavers Solar Bears. Hardly sticking to a rigid formula then.
London based Barcelona man Oriol Singhji definitely fits into the latter category. His Night & Day album is a set of sunkissed, superheated instrumentals that effortlessly align with the kind of retrofuturistic funk peddled by Floating Points and Onra. But his sound carries a definite emphasis on the ‘retro’, making easy reference to jazz-funk, Weather Report and Miami Vice, amongst other rose-tinted memories. That a certain seventies charm thoroughly permeates all the remixes on the Coconut Coast EP is, I suppose, testament to how convincing Oriol’s vision is. The title track is wildly addictive, kicking off with a gust of warm synth before heading off on a defiantly downtempo flex, riding ‘round South London with the top rolled down. FaltyDL’s house remix is slow and foreboding, pivoting around a lovely broken beat, and Jake Slazenger’s take on ‘Memories’ is hot and sumptuous, as befitting the source material. Shortstuff’s ‘Memories’ remix is the best of the three though, and it’s brilliantly deceitful, opening with the sort of jittery moves that you’d expect of a Blunted Robot but remaining unexpectedly contemplative throughout.
File in the ‘cider in a field on a hot summer’s day’ section.
Words: Rory Gibb