Blair isn't an outsider taking the piss out of dancehall—he's worked with the likes of Busy Signal and Beenie Man—and his slapstick is delivered with masterful control. As on the rest of the LP, every tom hit, snare roll and sparkly shaker is perfectly placed; the weirdness is delivered in clinically measured doses. Of course, dancehall has always been capable of mind-blowing originality. This album for Demdike Stare's label—a collection of tracks by Gavsborg and his partner-in-crime Jordan Chung, AKA Time Cow—should help hip a new generation of dance music fans to the fact.
Other tracks by both Blair and Chung (their styles are often indistinguishable) follow the opener's lead. On "Peanut Porridge" and "A Rabbit Spoke To Me When I Woke Up," spindly melodies balance on sparse percussive frames, the kicks and ride cymbal hits positioned for maximum hip-swaying effect. "The Link"'s drums are sent through tight delays for that extra rubbery sheen, while jet engine noises whoosh overhead. On "Timebird," the only track credited to both Blair and Chung, a fairground melody is punctuated by vicious bird squawks. (Birdcalls are the Equiknoxx sound signature, hence the album's punning title and excellent artwork.) Minimalist masterpieces or eccentric pranks? A bit of both, most likely.
Elsewhere, the ideas get more lurid, and heavier halftime grooves teeter on the edge of disarray. On the likes of "Clunk," "Clink" and "Porridge Should Be Brown Not Green," the drums stagger off-grid and the sample choices (including a nod to Silver Apples' "Oscillations") are unsettling: horror film violins, dissonant jangling bells. It's almost overwhelming, and a few more melodic tracks offer respite. There's a Neptunes flavour to the clavichords on "I Really Want To Write On Her Purple Wall." The closer, "Congo Get Slap Like A Congo Get Slap," is a glowing assemblage of chord vapour and chipmunk vocals. It's an attractive ending to a beguiling, bizarre and often brilliant album.
Mon / 15 Aug 2016
01. Last Of The Mohicans
03. Peanut Porridge
04. Someone Flagged It Up!!
05. Porridge Should Be Brown Not Green
06. A Rabbit Spoke To Me When I Woke Up
07. The Link
10. I Really Want To Write On Her Purple Wall
11. Lizard Of Oz
12. Congo Get Slap Like A Congo Get Slap