Frivolous: XXX EP

XXX EP (Proptronix) finds Daniel Gardner indulging the more bizarre side of his Frivolous persona by spinning four “Kisses” variations: a lounge-flavoured cover of the 1950s ditty (“Kisses Sweeter Than Wine”) that inspired the record, two wacky dance versions, and a minute-long “kisses” collage constructed from samples of Prince, Seal, Billie Holiday, Hall & Oates, and others; predictably the dance tracks hold up best with the other two essentially novelties. The opener “Kisses (.v3 Edit)” is a warped, soul-gospel take on the 'work song' genre, with looped vocal chants offset by a sombre string interval. With a bright synth melody jumpstarting a slippery house pulse, the “Split Milk Mix” keeps a straight face but only until showers of voices and drunken synths seize control. In one sense, the disc is quite literally frivolous yet its irreverence charms when broached in the context of more sober offerings.

February 2006