Daedelus: Fair Weather Friends
Ninja Tune

Though Daedelus's fans will be delighted by Fair Weather Friends' considerable imaginative invention, they may be surprised to discover that his latest EP is considerably less baroque than his previous output. In five relatively stripped-down tracks, Alfred Darlington sheds his customary Edwardian garb for a direct dance style that flirts more heavily with soul and funk than hip-hop.

Pumped by a raucous drum and bass groove, a carousel keyboard line, and joyous shout-outs from a celebratory crowd (and the repeating hook of a young female explaining that “when the weather gets warm we get the same things on our minds as you boys do”), the title track oozes good times. A fabulous re-work of Ghost Town DJ's “My Boo,” “My Beau” drapes an irresistibly cooing (and deftly chopped) soul vocal over jittery funk swing. The B-side's as pleasure-filled: perched midway between rock and disco, a slamming attack propels the barrelhouse raver “Hermitage,” the rambunctious, string-drenched techno of “El Subidon” surges with combustible fervour, and, goosed by saccharine synth melodies, “Bonjour” struts like a woozy peacock. Let's hope Fair Weather Friends' spectacular eighteen minutes is indicative of what awaits on the LA producer's next full-length (currently in preparation).

November 2007