January 15, 2009

Remember the late 90s when electronic music was at its popular peak and the “chill out” craze that killed downbeat music was just around the corner?  I LOVED those days.  This was before a million “Cafe Del Mar” and “Best Chillout Album EVER” compilations sucked the life and soul out of dubby, liquid trip-hop and replaced it with Zero 7 remixes of Coldplay songs.  Good times, good times.

Among the best of them was the UK’s Red Snapper – a trio that played smooth drum ‘n’ bass with all the musicianship of a “proper” jazz outfit.  Their landmark album, 1998’s Making Bones, hasn’t dated perfectly.  The vocal tracks are a little bit too late-90s in their coffeehouse acid jazziness.  But the instrumentals?  They still kill me every time.

After a hiatus that’s lasted most of the decade, they’re back with a mini album called Pale Blue Dot.  It’s received minimal coverage and everything about the packaging and promotion suggests that it’s not their attempt at cracking the market again.  This is more a taster – a reward to their old fans for still caring and a signal of what’s to come.

This time the vocals are gone and it’s all fused-up jazzy electro rock of a kind that Miles Davis would probably have made if he was still around now.  Let’s hope it’s the beginning of a fantastic second era.

Red Snapper – “Clam”


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