hip hop . wonky-hop . breaks


Genre pick of the week Cover of Texture Like Sun by Mo Kolours.
“This record is about cycles. From the tiny cycles of loops within songs to the broader cycle of the whole album, which is designed to take you away and bring you home again at the end. Loops within loops. Loops overlapping in different ways and shifting as they go can take you very far away. You hear it in lots of African music, in jazz and hip hop”.

Mo Kolours explores this theme through both music and lyrics. "Pass It Round" is about giving and receiving, and the importance of depending on others. "Orphan’s Lament" is named after a Mongolian folk song, and Mo Kolours' own words urge the listener to “fall to get up again” among a set of inescapably linked opposites. The message may be optimistic or otherwise, depending on the listener’s point of view. The theme also appears in his choice of cover versions as he reinterprets songs absorbed in his youth: "Harvest For The World" by the Isley Brothers and The Stranglers’ "Golden Brown", from which the album title is derived.

“The Stranglers are one of my earliest memories of music. I had an auntie who was a huge fan and my parents had all their records. ‘Golden Brown’ always gave me such a beautiful feeling, way before I knew what it was supposed to be about”.

“I've always admired producers who push your ear, who draw you into unexpected elements of a song. I like it when people use a minimal number of elements and find ways of making you re-engage with each of them. It can be subtle, just a drum or the repetition of a word. I was thinking about that in the arrangement of the whole album”.

Raised on the traditional sega music of his father’s Indian Ocean homeland alongside records by the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Michael Jackson, Mo Kolours adds hip hop, dub, soul and other electronic styles to his individual sound. His approach could find him placed alongside Madlib or The Gaslamp Killer but he would be equally happy in the company of James Blake, Erykah Badu, Theo Parrish or Moodymann.

Following a trio of albums on the Mush imprint, Bibio (aka Stephen Wilkinson) now makes his long playing debut for Warp, the totally enchanting "Ambivalence Avenue". Bibio is a purveyor of wonderfully warm, melodic music that shines like the late summer sun through stained glass windows, refracting beams of shimmering colour across the room. Unlike many of his contemporaries however, as well as producing lovely, but ultimately superficial soundscapes, Wilkinson has a keen ear for melody and actually knows how to write a good tune. An antidote to the often clinical and soulless nature of current laptop-made music, "Ambivalence Avenue" is an endearingly messy patchwork of sun-dappled west coast style psychedelia, Dilla-esque beatsrumentals, de-tuned woozy pop and electronica, folk whimsy, dreamy madrigals, and intimate acoustic guitar songs – with each song a standout. A permanent fixture on the Piccadilly Records shop stereo, "Ambivalence Avenue" comes highly recommended, and is an essential album of 2009!


Includes MP3 Download Code.

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