No soundclips on this so I'm going off what the label say. I've always been a bit partial to a bit of Red Snapper so its nice to see that they are still on the go. It seems like they have stayed hungry to produce better and better work which is great to see. The album is inspired by a recent soundtrack they did for cult 70's Sengalese road movie "Touki Bouki", touring for a year with the film has helped them have a tight and disciplined approach. As you may expect there are lots of '70's influences on this reflecting their work over the last few years but its not all retro-ist as they combine it with cutting edge futurist musicality to create a timeless African-influenced album.
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- Hyena by Red Snapper
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There used to be this dude in Bradford known as "Pineapple" Mick. He was called this not because he could do obscene things with that scaly, fibrous rough-assed fruit but because he wore his hair tied-up like a pineapple. It really suited him too as he was, like, a 7ft tall hippy sage ala John Cooper Clark whereas you see the young ones with their hair like that these days, usually wearing surfer shorts, cheap flip-flops and shark tooth pendants and you want to run them over slowly with a steam roller. Pineapple Mick once had his arm in a sling for 3 months after literally falling out of a tree whilst on ketamine; he was one of those loveable types! I once caught him in the city's System Records frantically coppering-up multiple piles of shrapnel in order to buy a copy of 'Prince Blimey' by Red Snapper. The poor guy behind the counter got so bored of waiting for the sums to balance he just gave him the record and told him to fuck off. I was so amused by the spectacle and Mick's desperation to have this album, I eagerly asked for a listen. The rest is history.
Everybody knows that creepy, clattering voodoo jazz-funk fest is their masterwork. They've spent years occasionally harking back to its glories but never quite matching the simmering tension and brooding majesty inherent. They're more like an Acid Jazz version of their former selves these days, not that that's a truly bad thing. This is music for people that liked Fila Brazillia, Glasto space-face legends The Egg and that kinda white "cinematic" funk....ya know. THAT. 'Hyena' is a varied listen with some rather crappy "soulful" moments, coffee table bullshit and other throwaway bits but generally it's played with panache and when that hard-assed rhythm section fires up on many a track you are reminded about what made them a formidable force to begin with. A mixed bag with some truly palatable and inspired moments.
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