Album: Kinobe

Versebridgechorus? Jive/Pepper
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The Independent Culture

Kinobe's Soundphiles debut was one of the more interesting chill-out exercises of recent years, the duo of Julius Waters and Mark Blackburn displaying an admirable breadth of musical interests, and a particular facility with the moods and mores of soundtrack scores. This follow-up, though, is a disappointment, failing in almost every respect to build upon their earlier hard work. Part of the problem lies in their changed methodology: though several tracks are still built upon looped samples, Kinobe, like Tortoise, have opted to develop individual tracks through studio jams, a process that invariably produces limp, formless results. Here, the placid pastoralism of "Minus 4" and the hint of eastern promise in "The G# Spot" make precious little purchase on one's attention, while the widescreen scratch-dub instrumental "Tooth and Nail" is rescued only by the striding bass line. They've hardly shopped at Harrods for their collaborators, either, something that shows in the performances of singers Victoria Horn and Laura Campbell. The most effective of their vocalists is Sandy Dillon, whose unusual gravel-gruff tones bring an authentic, rootsy flavour to "Mama's Girl". Kinobe are at their best, however, when sculpting new shapes from old samples, as on "Having a Moment", where the MOR lounge sample conjures up the sleek spirit of The Avalanches, and "Summer in the Studio", where the familiar intro to "Summer in the City" is taken in several new directions, without ever really escaping the original.

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