Pepe Deluxe - Spare Time Machine
Review by Jack Foley
THERE’S only one way to describe Pepe Deluxe’s latest album Spare Time Machine – and that’s absolutely crazy.
James Spectrum (AKA Jari Salo) and JA-Jazz (AKA Tomi Paajaanen) have taken their love of ’60s psychedelia and ’70s prog-rock and turned it into one of the most deliriously feel-good, insanely cool albums of the year. And it’s sample free.
Pepe Deluxe are, of course, best known for Woman In Blue, which was used on the Levi’s Jeans Twisted commercial and taken from their debut album Supersound in 1998. But they’ve long possessed the uncanny ability to get the party started and keep it going until the earliest hours of the morning (and beyond).
With Spare Time Machine, they go one step further, transporting you to a world that, in their own words, “sounds like no other group in the known universe, to create something that didn’t exist before”.
This is evident from very first track [and former single] The Mischief Of Cloud Six, which is a joyous, trippy celebration of both ’60s and ’70s influences, all bursting to throw you onto the dancefloor and keep you there.
Hence, there’s more sweet hip-hop beats, more psychedelic guitar crescendos, more of the same offbeat lyrics, retro vocals and more influences from around the world than you can shake a pocket atlas at – as mad as it sounds, it somehow works.
Ms Wilhelmina And Her Hat unfolds like some ultra stoned version of Kula Shaker’s Tatva, before dropping more warped guitar riffs and a kick-ass beat. And Go For Blue is a giddy blend of retro, Doors-era vocals and psychedelic vocals that crash into each other to spectacular effect. It’s a real head rush of a track.
Elsewhere, Pussy Cat Rock drops some killer beats and some crunching guitar to offer the type of sweaty workout that Fatboy Slim used to make a trademark, while Apple Thief changes tack completely to unfold amid a flurry of child-like melodies and sweet, sweet girl vocals. It’s another highlight.
We also dug the epic, funky grandeur of Forgotten Knights and its prelude (which unfolds like a theme tune to a ’70s show or movie that doesn’t exist), as well as the bang, crash, wallop of Captain Carter’s Fathoms, that also gives rise to moments of ethereal ambience.
In short, you won’t find too many albums to rival the sheer bloody minded absurdity and mind blowing brilliance of Spare Time Machine – so just let it transport you to its crazy world and work its breathless magic.
Download picks: The Mischief Of Cloud Six, Pussy Cat Rock, Ms Wilhelmina And Her Hat, Apple Thief, Captain Carter’s Fathoms, Forgotten Knights