Album: FC/Kahuna

Machine Say Yes, City Rockers
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The Independent Culture

Named after Samuel L Jackson's favourite fast-food in Pulp Fiction, Dan Ormondroyd and Jon Nowell's Big Kahuna Burger club was a significant mid-Nineties extension of the Heavenly Social eclectic big-beat tradition that gave rise to the likes of Fatboy Slim and the Chemical Brothers. Though their DJ duties were long since transferred to Headstart, and more recently 21st Century Body Rockers, the duo have kept the Kahuna name alive through cuts like 2000's stomping "Mindset To Cycle" – a real acid-house throwback – and last year's downbeat opus "Hayling", a chilled, atmospheric piece featuring former Gus Gus singer Hafdis Huld's sensuous treated vocal over elegant Kraftwerk-style synthesiser ostinatos. Both are included on this debut album, alongside pieces that recall both the Gallic techno of Daft Punk and Air ("Bleep Freak") and the layered synth excursions of early Warp Records artists such as LFO and Sweet Exorcist. The pummelling basslines and big belching riffs of tracks like "Glitterball" and "Microcuts" are tempered by more reflective outings featuring vocal contributions from Gruff Rhys ("Fear Of Guitars"), exotically named femme-fatale rapper Betty Butterfly-Barbido ("Nothing Is Wrong"), and, in the Beth Orton role, the expat American folk-rocker Eileen Rose, whose own album, Long Shot Novena, was released a couple of months ago. It's tough to pick a standout cut from an album on which standards are uniformly high, but my favourite would probably be the title-track, an off-kilter techno-funk number offset by another captivatingly demure vocal from Hafdis Huld.

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