Letherette - Letherette (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
LETHERETTE aim to bring fun to the electronic music scene. And playfulness. But their eponymous album satisfies in fits and starts.
Tracks will sometimes switch tempos midway through to keep listeners, or dancers, on their feet. They also draw from a wide range of influences, whether that’s Ibiza leaning mainstream cuts with a Ninja Tune/Big Dada label edge, the funky grooves of Daft Punk or ’80s dance (a la Harold Faltemeyer).
Having already released four EPs and delivered acclaimed remixes for Machinedrum and Bibio, the young duo from Wolverhampton now look to lay down their credentials with 12 tracks that aim to put you in the party mode. And, for the most part, they succeed, especially if you get your kicks from the electronic scene.
Just occasionally, tracks threaten to lose direction or seem bland. But maybe that’s because when they get the mix right, lesser moments feel all the more disappointing for it.
Hence, a track like Boosted (which has pockets of mellow beauty) probably suffers from following something as livewire and layered as Warstones (a clear album favourite).
Space Cuts, conversely, has some hip-shakingly good vibes surrounding it, complete with Michael Jackson-meets-The Avalanches vocal samples, but fails to convince as much as, say, former single D&T, which expertly combines spacial synths and wig out guitar to infectious effect.
But throughout the LP, there’s a similar line-up of hits and misses. The wonky synth sound that is a little too rife on the electronic scene is all too evident on Restless, which therefore struggles to make the most of Natasha Kmeto’s sultry, soulful vocals.
However, on a track like I Always Wanted You Back, the New York scene of artists/DJs like Blockhead is evident to brilliant, funky effect. This truly demonstrates Letherette at their best, complete with distorted vocal samples.
Evidence of their ability to mix things up and play with expectation throughout a track are to be found on another highlight, The One, which opens atmospherically, before lifting off with a deep arpeggio and driving, dubby house glitch and belatedly introducing some pure funk to maintain the momentum.
Final track Say The Sun, meanwhile, rounds things off in beautifully epic fashion for a slice of comedown that melts the heart (complete with sampled female vocals and a deliciously laidback beat).
Overall, Letherette may not always maintain the heights of their best tracks. But they’re never dull, always inventive and, ultimately, impossible to ignore.
Download picks: D&T, Warstones, I Always Wanted You Back, The One, Say The Sun