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cooly g - playin’ me

playin’ me
catalog number:
20.79 €
dubstep/electronic/uk funky
out of stock
Although she’s been associated with the development of the new UK house and funky sound, Cooly G's productions have always existed in their own hinterland. Her music is full of stripped down, tribal post-garage beats graced by dubtracted vocals, incomplete seductions and glimpsed vexations, uttered over empty spaces and lush washes. 'Narst' / ‘Love Dub’, her 2009 debut 12”, was single of the week in The Guardian, she was featured as “One To Watch” in The Independent, and was snapped up for remixes by the majors, including Kesha’s number one ‘Tik Tok’, plus Zero 7, VV Brown and Speech Debelle among others. 2010 found her releasing a second single for Hyperdub, following which she was asked by the Tate Gallery to make some music to accompany Chris Ofilli's retrospective exhibition. On ‘Playin’ Me’ she displays the full spectrum of her sound, plummeting from her sometimes melancholy, sometimes romantic songs through to her more menacing, trackier style. Recorded without any frills in her home studio, the album simultaneously recalls a legacy of black British music, filtering the female pressure and reggae lilt of lovers rock’s kitchen sink dramas, the sweet seduction of ‘80s-flavoured “Quiet Storm” soul, through to sour, bitter-sweet synths, and the polyrhythmic dub decay of early jungle and tough tribal drums. ‘He Said I said' sets the tone in dramatic fashion with some guitar licks borrowed from a Spaghetti Western before the smouldering lyrics grace the tracks. ‘What The World Needs Now’ is a dreamy, uplifting stepper with big summery strings. ‘Come Into My Room’ is romantic and piano-led, with smooth Arp strings, breaking into twinkling 808 cowbells and teasing with rushing drum patterns midway through. ‘Good Times’ pleads over cold droplets and shivering synths while, by contrast, ‘Sunshine’ is a mid-summer skank. The more ambient refrain of ‘Trying’ sounds like an intro to a classic Jungle track whose sub bass undertow never resolves in a drop. By the time we get to 'Playin’ Me', the romance has started turning a bit sour, and rage amps up through an in your face bass riff, that bulldozes through swirling strings and tough kick drums. The biggest surprise of the record is Cooly’s cover of Coldplay’s ‘Trouble’, making it shiver and bounce with a strange clockwork rhythm and epic techno strings. It’s a talented and brave producer that can make a Coldplay song sound fresh and the song sits naturally in the album’s flow. ‘What Airtime’ starts the album’s slide towards instrumentals, with hard drum track echoes and stormy mood. ‘It’s Serious' featuring Baltimore house legend Karizma is a masterclass in sustaining dark, heads down energy whilst filling a track with twists and turns and rhythmic trapdoors. ‘Is it Gone’ is wonkier still, spinning together dubbed vocals and drums into weird collisions recalling prime period Metalheadz of Rufige Kru and Source Direct. She concludes the album on the more colourful and heady ‘Up In My Head’, combining her stop start rhythms with intoxicated vocals. Cooly G has produced a first album that sits next to other recent Hyperdub debuts by Laurel Halo, Dean Blunt & Inga Copeland and DVA as records with original and single-minded perspectives that manage to straddle pop and experimentation perfectly.
a01. he said i said
a02. what this world needs now
a03. come into my room
a04. good times
b01. sunshine
b02. trying
b03. playin' me
c01. trouble
c02. what airtime
d01. is it gone
d02. up in my head
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