Album Reviews

Daphni – Cherry

(Jiaolong) UK release date: 7 October 2022

Caribou frontman Dan Snaith’s instrumental, club-friendly, minimal and spontaneous alter-ego returns

Daphni - Cherry A decade into Dan Snaith’s use of the moniker, we know roughly what to expect from Daphni: while Caribou’s compositions are generally introspective, multi-layered and can border on baroque pop in their structure, the songs on Cherry are instrumental, club-friendly, minimal and spontaneous. This can be both a gift and a curse, as while the listening experience is undoubtedly good fun, reduced quality control means ideas are more likely to either get more attention than they deserve or be underutilised.

The title track is suitably fleshed-out, with a glittering cross-rhythm (15 semi-quavers!) mapped across 4×4 beats and an increasingly glitchy soundbed, while Take Two also hits the spot with a sped up disco loop and a relentless, Dave Clarke-esque techno arrangement, simple but devastatingly effective. Cloudy arguably spends a bit too long on one level, but the cascading piano sequence is undeniably pretty and the breakdown in the track’s final minutes works well.

Some of these tracks are cruel in their brevity, as Falling could have been a dazzling house banger if it was more than a minute in length and built on its infectious sample, and closing number Fly Away cuts off its tantalising build with an arrhythmic scuttling sound, an unforgivable anti-climax. Arrow and Clavicle take a more mellow approach, sounding remarkably similar to each other in their use of pads, but the result is filler, a creative void that only Snaith’s singing could possibly fill.

Good vibes are brought by Mania and Mona, both featuring the bumpy syncopation of garage house and the former displaying the chunky M1 organ sound most recently heard in Eliza Rose’s B.O.T.A. It is intriguing that artists like Snaith and Four Tet display such affection for a style they avoided at the time, but with tunes like this it seems unreasonable to complain – long may the artful hedonism continue.

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Daphni – Cherry