Album Reviews

Treva Whateva – Music’s Made Of Memories

(Ninja Tune) UK release date: 1 August 2005

First things first: Treva Whateva?!?! What a terrible, terrible name. So is this some kind of grammatically challenged, street tough grime act trying too hard to sound like The Streets? Well, no, not at all in fact

It becomes immediately clear on first listen that Mr Whateva spends a great deal of time with his tongue in his cheek, in an all-encompassing party style which fans of Mr Scruff will greatly appreciate. And it comes as no surprise to discover, from what sketchy biographical details are available, that Treva is a fellow Mancunian and friend of the Scruffy one.

From the opening skit with its sci-fi sound effects to the cheeky bass, lazy beats and playful jazz hook of first track, Bouncing Bomb, to the skat-laced, Praise You-style piano of Singalong – this is stupidly good fun. Wherever you turn there is a kooky bassline or a blast of a big band as on Havana Ball or a dose of offbeat humour like the hilarious advertising interlude Breakfast Of Champions: “A joint, ever had one? It really sets you up, especially at breakfast time”.

There are so many styles fused together but always with an effortless ease. The old skool jungle stylings of Dedicated VIP, for instance, are mixed up with ska, rolling breakbeats and a bassline so blatant and buoyant you will be grinning your way to the dancefloor in no time.

There is more to Music’s Made Of Memories than light-hearted joviality though. Driving Reign is a slice of pure, sun-blessed disco house, Carpe Diem sees a woozy slumber broken by another enlivening dose of bass while Dustbowl is simply a storming funk classic. But it is the title track that forms the album’s cool, calm centrepiece. Beautifully chilled, its soft chords combine with sultry sax and a simple, soulful vocal hook to produce a sound so gorgeous it makes you long for white-sanded, palm tree-lined beaches and endless summer days.

Dangerous Disco closes the album and forms a fine ending. A dramatic, brooding orchestral number which is lightened by tension-easing cowbells and disco beats before a sampled cello is then cleverly chewed up and mangled to form yet another speaker spanking bassline. Although it was originally released in 1998 the track still sounds as fresh as a proverbial daisy and the rest of the album shares the same timeless quality: Music’s Made Of Memories is an album you will keep coming back to like some kind of spirit-lifting audio Prozac.

A lunatic leftfield gem that is perfect listening for the silly season, MMOM wears its heart on its sleeve and is designed to make your toes tap, your booty shake and your arms wave overhead. Quirky, chirpy, fun and funky, this is probably the best upbeat/downtempo dance album of the year so far. And as for the stupid name? Whateva Treva wants to call himself is absolutely fine by me.

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Treva Whateva – Music’s Made Of Memories