Album Reviews

Kotchy – 89

(Civil Music) UK release date: 20 April 2009

Kotchy’s artwork says it all really. This is a man who has a lot in his head, able to hear several types of music in his head at once, and transfer his thoughts to record, ready to make his listeners scratch their heads.

This vivid imagination once led to him splicing and dicing tracks by Bruce Springsteen and Fleetwood Mac as one – so well that nobody seems to be able to identify either.

None of the music here sounds like Bruce Fleetwood, though his music continues as a curious hybrid of styles. Just when you think you’re settling down to some Ninja-style chill out, of the type Blockhead or an early DJ Shadow might serve up, in comes a line Pharell Williams might have used. “Loosen up, let’s dance buck naked”, he invites on the suddenly crooked house beat of She Made It Easy. “Shake that shit!” orders Shake, though the voice here is so flat and uninflected the prospect is frankly alarming.

In these respects The Neptunes‘ production techniques are definitely an influence, and on A Superstar their style comes to the fore with curious rapping, fractured yet funky guitar riffs and clipped beats.

Yet elsewhere the sound is wholly Kotchy’s own. The sudden beauty of the dreamy piano line with which Raise Your Eyebrows concludes is a lovely touch, while the equally brief Pay Me trades in withdrawn electric soul, soft noises of the night drifting over the music. It’s here the listener will wish Kotchy would develop his ideas more, rather than stopping short.

The feeling continues throughout that he is trying out combinations of music for fun, though these are never experiments just for the sake of it, meaning the album makes for compelling listening. In tracks such as Shake the ear is unsure where it’s headed, while sudden diversions, such as the brief orchestral sample in the short Falling In Love, are brief indulgences. More conventional, perhaps, is One For The Money, though this still drifts listlessly in the end, unable to make up its mind between a memorable chorus and some nicely textured backing.

Kotchy, then, seems to have a genre all to himself, self made and completely unaudited – a really spontaneous creation. Late night spins are bound to be rewarding, though will ultimately stop short of complete relaxation, due to the producer’s short attention span.

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Kotchy – 89