Wolverhampton-based production duo Letherette return with sophomore album Last Night On The Plant via Ninja Tune label. Including the crisp beats and glugging bass lines of the dancefloor-ready Shanel, this 10-track offering ventures house, electro and hip-hop through a colour-splashed lens.
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I’m so damn excited. I absolutely loved Letherette’s ‘Refresh’ 12” from earlier in the year. It reminded me of all kinds of house music I didn’t listen to in the ‘90s. This excitement is popped like a balloon though on opening ‘Momma’ which mixes some pretty sweet Prefuse 73 like sounds with the thuggish vocal delivery of Rejjie Snow. It’s like Brian Blessed treading on a miniature poodle. Letherette’s music is so sweet and tuneful and life-affirming we just don’t need brutal lyrical about cocaine and his dick spoiling it all. *Sigh*
Thankfully there’s other stuff to enjoy that doesn’t make you squirm. ‘Rich and Dan’ is a delightful piece of spinning electronic wizardry, one part Bibio, one part the Avalanches that sounds like all the good things in the world (there are some left we assure you) mixed into a big bag and stuffed into your ears. The haunting house of that magnificent earlier EP has a partial comeback in ’Chanel’ a sow burn flange of bright and buzzy synths and funkified drum slaps and a better attempt at welding vocals onto this multicolour electronics occurs on ‘Bad Sign’ where Jed and Lucia add drifty vocals to shuffling understated electronics and chill wave synth stylings.
There are some really enjoyable moments and to my ears Letherette are making some of the most vital and colourful electro out there. The mood here is relentlessly upbeat and delirious and rather like the latest Machine Drum album I feel that some slow burners and ear cleansers could be added for a palette cleanse. Taken on their own terms many tracks such as the wonky electro funk of the title track and the delicious Daedelus style cut ups of 'Rubu’ both disarm. I feel overall though that Letherette have used the album as a showcase for their various and impressive production skills rather than creating the ebb and flow of a work that can listened to over and over. The haunting cohesiveness of ‘Refresh’ is replaced by a magpie-like look-what-we-can-do album which finds it hard to settle on a particular mood.
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- Last Night On The Planet by Letherette
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