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Just a Little Bit Crazy...
440: Dude Descending a Staircase
Keen Liverpool FC supporters and pioneers
of Brit electro, Apollo 440 come bounding back with a vast double CD
that nobody could accuse of failing to deliver value for money.
Where the band score is in their ability to blur the line between people
and machinery: time and again you are left wondering whether that was
a drummer or a drum machine, a pianist or merely another sample.
The 18 tracks here cover a bit of everything, from speedy dance-pop
with shouting to ripped-to-shreds disco, leavened with intermittent
blasts of old-fashioned hard rock. They seem particularly fond of giant
1970s soul grooves with massed banks of strings, as though they had
been loading up on old Isaac Hayes and Temptations records.
Just a Little Bit Crazy
During the 1960s, Brazilian singer-songwriter
Joyce brought a feminist edge to the subversive musical experimentation
of the tropicalist movement.
Her new album finds her stirring elements of jazz and obscure South
American dance rhythms into her musical melting pot, creating jazzy,
feather-light arrangements with an irresistible air of melancholy.
Joyce twists and moulds her melodies into intriguing shapes with all
the insouciance of a whistling postman, while bamboo flutes and fleet-footed
clarinets imitate the sound of birdsong. The jazz influence becomes
explicit on the song Galope, where flickers of dissonant electric piano
and propulsive cymbal rhythms recall Miles Davis's In a Silent Way.
Elsewhere, Joyce succeeds in her stated ambition of turning Lennon and
McCartney's A Hard Day's Night upside down and inside out; in her hands
it becomes a bluesy, Latin-flavoured drawl that would be quite unrecognisable
if sung in Portuguese. As mellow and sweet a summer soundtrack as you
could hope to find.