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It’s rare to come across a debut album that delights and surprises in equal measure, but that’s exactly what you can expect from Human Call, the first full-length excursion from daydreaming dancefloor fusionists Earthboogie.
The East London-based duo of Izaak Gray and Nicola Robinson has previous form when it comes to creating beautiful, funk-fuelled fusions of soundsystem-ready rhythms, humid instrumentation and intergalactic audio explorations. To date, they’ve released a pair of fine EPs on Leng, both of which did a splendid job in showcasing their unique musical vision.
Even so, this vision has never been clearer than it is on Human Call, a vibrant eight-track missive that fixes the sticky tropical cheeriness of African and South American dance music – be it Afro-disco, Afro-funk or samba – with a wide range of complimentary sounds, styles and influences, from spacey analogue electronics, sun-kissed Balearica and hazy West Coast jazz-rock, to chunky dub disco, snappy retro-futurist house and bouncy, dub-fuelled club workouts.
Throughout, Gray and Robinson showcase an impressive level of musicianship, variously combining crunchy drum machine hits and dusty old synthesizers with razor-sharp electric and acoustic guitars, rich bass, cascading saxophone solos and hazy, life-affirming vocal harmonies.
The result is a string of memorable highlights, from the sticky tropical-house-meets-dub disco futurism of “Human Call” and fuzzy disco-funk righteousness of opener “Overground”, to the post-punk disco jauntiness of “Stargazing” and samba-infused dancefloor bliss of Nina Miranda collaboration “Silken Moon”. Cheery, absorbing, imaginative and hugely entertaining, Human Call offers a perfect snapshot of Earthboogie’s distinctive musical world.
A2. High Minded Man
B1. Silken Moon (feat Nina Miranda)
B2. The Getaway
C1. Human Call
C2. Northern Light
D1. Stargazin (feat Nina Miranda)
D2. Broken Rules Arrangement