Pharaohs - Uhh Uhh

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  • With a string of compelling 12-inches from rising acts like Innergaze, Ital and Magic Touch, 100% Silk, the clubby imprint of the LA-based Not Not Fun label, has quickly become a name to watch. With a debut EP from Pharaohs, 100% Silk broadens its palette, expanding from bedroom-y dream disco to include Pharaohs' distinctly housier pursuits. The title track is a grade-A chugger that wears its hand-me-down Madchester grooves like a snazzy second-hand coat: a slow-mo disco-house groove, honky-tonk piano stomp, and a drugged-out steamroller style. I half-expect Shaun Ryder to show up. As catchy as "Uhh Uhh" is, its brother "What???" steals the show, at least for me, because it departs from the cosmic playbook into a much baggier world, governed by unpredictable, sampledelic weirdness. Twinkly piano notes and sneering, pitched-down vox whirl in and out of the frame, suddenly giving way to bluesy twin-saxophone riffage and sputtering handclaps. Composed of two feel-good instrumentals, the back half of the record belongs to the same aesthetic universe as the first, but remains on its own planet. "Flutter & Moan" rides a breezy, percolated groove into jazzy-keyed Balearic bliss, but a relentless low-end and high BPM keeps it on the dance floor. It succeeds where its b-side cohort, "Sunblitz," comes up short. As the title might suggest, "Sunblitz" aims for similar regions of solar-powered ecstasy, but sounds like it got left out in the sun too long and could use a nap. The soprano sax is a bold choice here (isn't it always?) but its Kenny G riffs are simply egregious—an ostensibly ironic ha-ha moment on a record that doesn't need one.
  • Tracklist
      A1 Uhh Uhh A2 What??? B1 Flutter & Moan B2 Sunblitz