15 October 2006

Lucky & Easy - Hookahs - Ampoule - CD

The big question for me has always been ‘Is Lucky & Easy actually Pub in disguise?’

A question that’s never been answered to my complete satisfaction unfortunately… not that it matters a damn, of course, when the music on offer is this fine.

Lucky & Easy have generally provided a more classic ‘Electronica’ sound than Pub’s deeper, more Berlin orientated work and ‘Hookahs’ is as varied and entertaining as you could possibly imagine an album being.

Their (his?) penchant for dreamy melody is very much on show from the very first moments of the CD and is never far away from the centre of things.

Lively, crunchy beats form a cracking backbone for the sounds to weave a magical spell over the top using all the tricks of the trade that higher profile artists such as Plaid have done for years. To be fair, for me anyway, Lucky & Easy are as good as Plaid when they deliver those chord sequences and touches of traditional melody. Plus the cleverly programmed beats give it a life of its own with what seems to be off-time rhythms that soon settle into a real groove.

It doesn’t stop there though as L & E are clearly devotees of the Detroit sound and they embellish quite a few of their tracks with a Motor City lushness that speaks of pure machine funk. ‘Kiss It Better’ is a prime example of this with some seriously hectic percussion and 4/4 beat that’s got more in common with Derrick May or B12 than Black Dog, whilst ‘Night Rainbows’ could have come straight out of 1993.

And these tracks are when they show up the Pub connection (if there is one…) with clattering, beautifully ever-changing arrangements that are far more complicated than they seem. In fact it’s not unusual for the tracks to go through two or three major changes throughout their duration staring out with an ambient flavour that soon turns into rhythmic and melodic and becomes powerfully driven even further forward by the beats.

There’s even an acid track, ‘Chippoke’, that rolls along with a 4/4 beat and an almost House-style feel.

It’s this sense of depth and variety that make this wonderful album shine through and if you’re a fan of good electronic music in any way at all I seriously suggest you hunt a copy of this down without any delay.


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