In keeping with Bristol’s reputation for experimenting with music of black origin comes new outfit Future Blues Project with debut album The Remixes. The Future Blues Project name bit is pretty easy to understand – they’re taking one of the foundations of modern music and filtering it through a twenty-first century musical prism – sampling, looping, adding beats from different genres, vocals and raps all while maintaining a clear and present link to the century-old sound of the blues. The fact that their debut LP is called The Remixes is pretty easy to understand too – no need to stand at a crossroad signing a Luciferian contract in your own blood or anything to access the secret – I’ll tell you. It’s because the musical source material for the album’s beats is all culled from rootsy blues LP Whatchamacallit Blues (which also gives its name to the second track on The Remixes) by Bristol bluesman Joe Allen on which everything from a double bass and slide guitar to pots and pans were used to recreate a Delta blues vibe.
And that Delta blues vibe is omnipresent on the LP even if on any given track you might hear it fused by producer DSiblime with influences as varied as neo-soul (opener Road Ahead), afrobeat (Things I’ve Seen), broken beat (Miss My Baby), and gospel on Look Up Above. Elsewhere, the band step onto the electro-blues dancefloor with Girl Named Claire on which some of the twenty-first century grit is supplied by rapper El Maine and the pumping uptempo Next Station. If one degree of uniformity is provided by all tracks having a basis (and indeed a bassist) in Allen’s blues, another LP lynchpin has to be the baritone and occasionally bass-voice of singer and lyricist Kirris Riviere – another member of Bristol’s blues alumni. According to Riviere, while blues-based, the range of influences on The Remixes is such that anyone should like at least two tracks on the LP. Arguably that’s to damn it with faint praise, since anyone is likely to dig way more than two tracks. If you’ll allow the monkey to point you to the one particular highlight though, it’s beast of a track, Cemetery, which chops up geetar n harmonica over lurching hip-hop beats while Riviere and MC Genesis Elijah trade mic-time for that full-on down home Avon delta sound.
(Out 29 June)