Bobby Bell - Long Journey

  • Share
  • "You have to have time to feel sorry for yourself if you're going to be a good abstract expressionist," says a voice at the beginning of "Art in Veins," the first track on Bobby Bell's debut EP. The fact that it's Robert Rauschenberg is kind of funny, given the context, because Bell's classy, restrained take on retro-sounding house is the polar opposite of abstract expressionism's macho, paint-spewing excess. But Rauschenberg's conclusion—"and I think I always considered that a waste"—gibes well with the record's hangup-free attitude. All five cuts are clearly aimed at making the most of whatever you've got to work with, whether it's a darkened basement at 3 AM, or a poolside patio 12 hours later. The record ranges from a skulking 110 beats per minute to a rolling 125, but it's driven throughout by stubby basslines and slightly muted drum machines, with watery analog synths adding faint color. The consistency of the palette lends a certain sameyness to the tracks, but they sneak up on you in different ways: The windswept counterpoints of "By Moon" have an absent-minded air, while "Long Journey," with its strong chords and baritone spoken word, feels as grounded as it gets. Whoever Bobby Bell is—some blogs are claiming that it's the duo of Rub N Tug's Eric Duncan and Lovefingers' Andrew Hogge, but "he" emailed me in the first person, so who knows—he keeps it cool.
  • Tracklist
      01. Art In Veins 02. By Moon 03. Long Journey 04. The Front 05. Until Morning