You know all the kids who get onto the ‘Jazz & Pop’ course at music college and end up in naff neo-soul ensembles? The Internet is the band they all think they're in. Hive Mind, the fourth LP from Syd The Kyd et al, is as cool as a cloud of smoke being blown by someone in silhouette. The prominent vocals and ultra-swung grooves place it in the newer school of Fatima, Zara McFarlane et al, but the flex of the thing rivals D’Angelo’s best years. Some people should be taking notes.
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This is the fourth Internet record. The forth. Wild. Count, between that, a brilliant solo record from member Syd (tha Kid), and you’ve got a pretty wild ride, a band that seemingly know eachother’s whims inside out and are capable of creating intuitive, on-the-fly R&B that need not emphasise itself, it’s already emphasised, it’s here, it’s smooth, it’s just the music they make.
That’s how it feels: with neither strain nor stress the Internet convince me that this record flowed out of them. The basslines rumble about like someone just picking up the guitar and messing about with it; “Roll” is an affirming tune framed around just that, with handclaps and vocal hums sorta just confirming that yes, this is chill. Allow me to walk it back and talk about opener “Come Together”, an in media res jam that begins the record without having to begin it. A short bass vamp comes and goes between acoustic strums and glistening keys, the togetherness of the sound sending up that feeling of good communal living -- art made amongst friends, not colleagues.
The Internet’s ability to shift in and out of space is sublime. “La Di Da” goes from relative sparsity to a tune that feels busy with voices and perspectives, its effortless rhythm getting swells of trumpet before dropping out for a cowbell showcase and a key-changing bridge. It is all pitched perfectly, so perfectly calibrated that yes, as our description writer Fred says, it’s like listening to the neo-soul band Jazz & Pop music students at uni think they’re in. They’re not. There’s only the Internet.
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