Sideshow - Sideshow

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  • The lighting is low, the mood is warm. Slender sophisticates sway and sip cocktails. There may be some headwraps somewhere in the room. Booted feet tap in time to the mellow sounds and a bohemian-looking singer croons into a microphone in between exchanging knowing looks with members of the band. Yup we’re in Downtempoland. Or at least that’s what opening track ‘Music For You’ leads you to believe. Fortunately it doesn’t last long and the CD lurches into the disco thump of ‘Philly Soundworks’, presented here in both its original form and as remixes by Jesse Rose and Lee Jones (of My My). The original is nice enough but comes across as a warm-up track to be played before you get the crowd really moving with Justus Kohncke or Lindstrom. Lee Jones turns it into something very trippy and deep with a feeling of alienation and cracked-out persistence. It’s a bit of a winner, especially the psychotic synths towards the end, which emphasise the whole “been awake too long” vibe. Jesse Rose does something more straightforward and basically turns it into a peak time version of the original with a strong pulsing feel and ping-ponging melodies. It’s not as original as Jones’ effort but likely to move dancefloors when put beside Claude VonStroke or Get Physical. Elsewhere the album reverts to the bluesy downtempo feel, which is all very nice, but very rarely strays out of wallpaper territory, except on the scary ‘Polar Bear Dub’ with its muted drums and echoing not-quite-melody. The other noteworthy track here, also presented in original and remixed format, with John Tejada doing the honours, is ‘Scary Biscuits’. The original is fairly tough but jazzy house with extremely punchy drums but not a huge amount of drama. Tejada adds a menacing bassline and growling synths which evolve into acidy squeals in a style that is basically his trademark. Yes it’s predictable, but also effective. This feels like a very ‘musicianly’ album in that it’s all very nicely put together but there is a distinct lack of coherence or even of a particularly distinctive vision. Might be better just to download the Lee Jones remix from Beatport, and brutally enforce the logic of the digital marketplace. Yo.
  • Tracklist
      1 Sideshow - Music For You 2 Sideshow - Philly Soundworks 3 Sideshow - Breaker 19 4 Sideshow - Polar Bear Dub 5 Sideshow - Scary Biscuits 6 Sideshow - You've Changed Dub 7 Sideshow - The Slide 8 Mike Monday - Bhalobashi (Sideshow Dub) 9 Sideshow - Philly Soundworks (Lee Jones Remix) 10 Sideshow - The Slide (Mathew Jonson Remix) 11 Sideshow - Scary Biscuits (John Tejada Remix) 12 Sideshow - Philly Soundworks (Jesse Rose Remix)