Album Reviews

Busface – Devils Sharks And Spaceships

(Absolute) UK release date: 12 April 2004

Busface - Devils Sharks And Spaceships Busface are Hugh Brooker and Seb Wronski. Hugh is a veteran of the Acid Jazz label, and has worked with Afrika Bambaata as well as Jamiroquai. Seb, on the other hand, is a relative up-and-comer, enjoying recent success with happy house anthems Sugar Shack and Rainbow Island. Together they form a band the likes of which have never been seen. Or perhaps not.

The electro-funk genre is threatening to become stagnant without the likes of the aforementioned Jamiroquai, and whilst this may provide Busface with a huge opportunity, it would appear that Devils, Sharks And Spaceships is not exactly headed for any kind of big impact. It’s well-polished, yes, and features some fairly big-name collaborators, but at the same time it brings nothing new to the table and lacks the consistent cutting-edge of a Jay Kay figure.

Circles is the current single release from the album, following hot on the heels of Love Is Like Oxygen, a cover of The Sweet‘s original. Circles is certainly the best choice of single, given that it features that moon-faced, upper-class Princess of Pop Sophie Ellis-Bextor. Don’t get too excited, though – this is no Spiller‘s Groovejet. In comparison, Circles is a devastatingly plain and repetitive effort, seemingly more likely to succeed in mindless trance anthem compilations than threaten the top of the charts.

Trudging on, Movie Star is something that any music creation package is capable of; Ass Kicker is Daft Punk minus any kind of inspiration; Dealers is too gimmicky; and vocoder usage tries but fails to save Galaxy. Throughout the album we are given the impression that Busface are far too comfortable in their genre, apparently happy to cook up a run-of-the-mill electronic track rather than attempt to create a trans-genre appeal.

Admittedly, there are a number of decent songs on offer here. Hangin’ Around is a frantic effort featuring the critically acclaimed Lee Scratch Perry, and Boom Boom Baby would have “hit” written all over it if it was just slightly less recurring. I would like to say that Devils, Sharks And Robots would tempt more than just fans of electro-funk or dance, like a Moby album, but I simply can’t.

Tracks like 4 A Change and the pleasantly-minimal-but-flogged-like-a-dead-horse Odds And Evens, whilst slotting nicely into a specific playlist, will not bother anyone less than a layperson of the genre. I don’t know, perhaps they just ran out of ideas. Whatever the case, Busface would appear to be a fans-only excursion.

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Busface – Devils Sharks And Spaceships