Album Reviews

Layo & Bushwacka! – Night Works

(XL) UK release date: 18 August 2003

Layo & Bushwacka! - Night Works Night Works was actually released just over a year ago, but since then Layo & Bushwacka! have enjoyed success in the singles market, prompting XL to reissue the album with four bonus tracks tagged on the end. This is a suspect decision artistically, as part of the original’s appeal was in the way it had been carefully constructed and segued to form a complete whole rather than a collection of individual tracks.

Nevertheless, the music itself still sounds excellent, with nocturnal breakbeat tracks, down-tempo rumblings and upbeat house anthems, all produced with imagination and flair. The boys have a feel for a good soundscape, and among my choice cuts Sahara stands out for its highly atmospheric breaks, with extra percussion flavourings and a musical language that hints at Eastern influences.

All Night Long is a fine house track, starting off as if firing its own engine and then taking off into the sunset. Let The Good Times Roll typifies the moody instrumental feel to a lot of this album, and Sleepy Language is just that – a slack beat, wah wah guitars and a wide open sound but with a devilish bass underneath.

Then of course there’s Love Story, the boys’ anthemic moment, recently crossbred with the Kings Of Tomorrow‘s Finally to make a Top 10single. To me the original still sounds better, with the Nina Simone sample. With both versions on this record you can make the choice!

The follow up single, It’s Up To You (Shining Through), is also present, as is a cosmetic reworking of Let The Good Times Roll, which is not really essential. New track Where Did We Go Wrong closes the record with a tougher house sound.

If you have a keen interest in dance music you probably bought this first time round, but if you didn’t I’d recommend you go and get it now.The addition of the bonus material isn’t strictly relevant, though. It’s the original record that still sounds great, organic and forward thinking.

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Layo & Bushwacka! – Night Works