Oohh this is what you need when you’re head’s hurting the day after the New Year’s Eve before – The Blue Square LP from Athenian outfit The Blue Square who make sure it’s all straight dealing when it comes to cinematic beats. The first two tracks Believe (soothing vibraphone, soporific trumpet, hi-hat driven break) and Tic-Toc (slo-mo, rolling boom-bap drums, vocal loops and piano tinkles) comfortably meet all your needs regarding classic atmospheric trip-hop instrumentals. If you conclude from that that you’re getting an eleven deep LP in the classic and mainly instrumental ‘Nightmares On Mo Ninja Wax’ mould however, you’d be wrong – since it’s all about the vocals for most of the rest of the LP. Not that there’s any embargo on rapping or singing in trip-hop of course. Gregg Green ably takes on emcee duties on Pie In The Sky and Phil Diamond weighs in somewhere between Phil Oakey and Leonard Cohen on the blues-inflected Out Of Time. Elsewhere it’s all about the ladies with Melentini delivering a southern European Macy Gray feel on Nightkisser while Esterina comes up trumps on the haunted fairground of Md3d3a and especially on swinging highlight Mama. Then there’s just time for another brace of intros – the ‘Doors meets The Specials’ Ghost Town‘ of Down The Street and the ambient psychedelia of Outerspace.
It’s not hard to see why they’ve managed to garner supports lots alongside Wax Tailor and Bonobo or why Morcheeba’s Paul Cheeba is a fan.
(Out now on Melting Records)