Posted on Jul 5th 2010 01:18 am
Night And Day
Planet Mu 2010
11 Tracks. 43mins15secs
Born in Barcelona and now sharing his time between Cambridge and London, Oriol Singhji is not one to conceive electronic music as a cold and sterile medium. His debut album, Night And Day, on Planet Mu, is a sizzling melting pot of funky grooves, jazz fusion, electro disco and classic techno with discreet touches of dubstep sprinkled over to give his music just enough of a contemporary edge. It is doubtful that Oriol was even born when the 1980s, and even more so the seventies, were in full swing, but he captures the spirit of it all and cleverly avoids making it all sound cheesy or dated. His tracks are chunky cuts of euphoric electronic music, rooted somewhere between Detroit and Chicago, and drenched in Floridian sunshine, and the whole thing has a shamelessly feel-good factor heard all too rarely on electronic records.
There have been plenty of artists who have happily trampled over the ghosts of the seventies and eighties in the last couple of years, most doing so in rather crude and inelegant fashion, dully copying what they might at one point or another have heard by digging in their parents’ record collection without actually understanding the first thing about it all. Night And Day denotes a very different approach. Dazzling with rich effervescent synth sounds and funky grooves and beats, these are not there just for show, but actually serve the purpose of giving the record a true identity, away from fads and hypes. And it works all absolutely admirably. Right from the aptly titled Joy FM, with its rather bucolic intro, clean synth lines and playful melody, Oriol sets the mood for the next forty-or-so minutes, and never veers far from this template. Whether it is through the vocal brushes of Spiral, the delightful seventies-infused Jam or Coconut Coast or the quirky electro slants of Memories, Flux or LW, Singhji puts together tracks which could easily pass for forgotten pieces of memorabilia, yet feel surprisingly modern and fresh.
This is really the tour de force of this album. Oriol crams so much into the eleven tracks collected here that it could have all ended up sounding self-indulgent, with little or no direction of sort. Instead, Night And Day is a triumphant collection of playful cuts which, while undeniably owing to the last four decades, feels perfectly relevant today. On Memories for instance, Oriol layers fusion-type synth lines, breathy vocals and light drum’n’bass, a combination which, minus the vocal brushes, also infuses much of the title track. Later, he accentuates the dreamy character of his music on Flux and Coconut Coast by building light and airy sound forms into refined melodies, while, following the smooth and beat-less Fantasy For N, the man concludes with two rather lush eighties-infused pieces, the slightly anthemic LW making way for the much smoother 5 Bars.
Night And Day is as fun a record as you’re likely to hear all year. Oriol’s confident and faithful approach makes this record stand out from the rest, and its scope already gives it something of a classic touch. This is a record designed for the summer, and it is likely to take its sunshine mood deep into next winter.
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