Office Party: Dems, Kindness & Baba Stiltz


It's time for our weekly review round up of the long players that have dropped through our virtual and not-so-virtual doors this week. Getting CDs again has been nice. Being able to actually look at what you're reviewing as opposed this virtual library that clogs up one's hard drive. #ohmylifeissohardnormally

Right then, let's get into it. 

Dems – Muscle Memory

Ian says…

Musical rohypnol. After the album's over you’re left with nothing but a disquieting niggle that something shit just happened.

Wil says

Yeah this just totally passed me by. It’s lazy to say it but James Blake has a lot to answer for. This is post-post-post-bass-alt-pop-pap. Why listen to this when you could listen to this Sorry guys!

Ciaran says…

I’ve never come across Dems before but I’m always happy to give anything a try at least once. Unfortunately mine hasn’t arrived in time for the writing of this review but I’m more than happy to give my account of Muscle Memory Mattresses as a whole.

If I’m honest, I prefer an incredible soft bed. Whilst there are many friends that rave about needing a firm bed, I long to sink deep into a soft semi-coma as if surrounded by a slowly melting marshmallow. I’ve also just found out I’ve been spelling marshmallow wrong in my head for years, how peculiar! I hope Dems are better than Silent Night, I could do with a good sleep at some point soon. 

Otherwise the only option is to stay up listening to music all night, though I’m not a big fan of music really.

Kindness – Otherness

Ian says…

A disappointment. With none of the texture and smear of his debut, Kindness has subjected his songs to an unforgiving glare- and it turns out they’re not that great. Opener World Restart sounds ace, an oozing fat backed 80s rare groove monster, with just enough trickery in the groove to separate it from the songs it’s so clearly indebted to. Then on in, things just fall apart. Dull, limpid soul, stripped of the grunt and roar of Alexander O’Neal or the smooth delivery of Luther Vandross, much of the album sounds like a third rate 1987 Motown reject. Bainbridge’s voice just isn’t strong enough to be pushed upfront, and the end result is a long tedious mush. The club lights have come on and it turns out you’ve pulled a minger.

Wil Says…

I loved the lead single. You had that feeling something exciting was ahead with that as the first track on here… and then… well. Someone said in the office “have we had this on twice now”? Which by all accounts isn’t a compliment. I really wanted this to be better than it is. It just falls flat on all accounts. Sorry! 

Ciaran says…

I’m listening to the Alan Partridge book on tape, or “audiobook” as all the kids are calling it, and there’s a chapter called homelessnessness. I only bring this up as both the band and the album end in the suffix ‘ness’.

Suffix is a fun word, it sounds like how my Essex schoolmates would pronounce the name of the Southern county with a similar suffix. Shouldn’t it be surfix? I thought sur was the right word for ending words? Wow, that sentence was a mess. I should delete it. Actually, I’m running low on pointless drivel to add for this one. Might as well say a few words about the album.

The album is a format combining singles with other tracks to create a finished product with a longer running time.

There, that’ll do.

Baba Stiltz – Total

Ian Says…

Full points for coming up with this week’s best track title: Ja Rule. Listening I couldn’t work out what the relationship between the title Ja Rule and the gravel faced Tupac wannabee Ja Rule actually was, but that didn’t really matter. It was a good track. Over all I kinda like this album, but it didn’t really move me. There were nice passages on it, all wonky, slightly left of centre electronic frippery, but there was little there that really got my juices gushing. Better than average, less than amazing.   

Wil Says… 

I really liked this album. Goldeneye is a beauty. Exciting electronic body and mind music. Studio Barnus really are an ace label! Oooh and I've heard ambient music's back again, all the kids are talking about. Hotel Exile will cover that one off then.   

Ciaran Says…

Baba Stiltz is merely a mirage. Created by Pete Townshend's mentor Meher Baba, the inspiration for Baba O'Riley, several years ago in when in Stockholm on a shopping spree – he'd found a coupon for 50% off in IKEA and thought it best to verify the coupon at the source, just to make sure it was still valid and didn't cover overseas shipping. To his surprise, the IKEA in Stockholm was located beside a stilt factory (if you hadn't worked out where this was going before now…) and, given that he had a 2 hour wait to sign the official delivery forms, Baba decided to have a peek inside. Oh what wonders he found – big stilts, small stilts, stilts made of jam! Like most of us, he could have happily spent years in the factory searching for the perfect pair. Yet he knew, through his mystical senses, where to find the pair for him and as he perused the yard for freshly made slilts he came across a wonderful, shining pair that captured his imagination. They were made by the cool folks at Stiltz Ltd. So he nicked them, fobbed off IKEA and now crosses mountains as the magnificent Baba Stiltz. The album is actually pretty good.

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