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SKEEWIFF: Something Like That?

Like many of you didn’t know this was coming after an immense lead time of ten months and run of – oohh – at least five singles off it since May last year. ‘This’ being Skeewiff’s Something Like That LP of course (on limited edition violet wax!) – i.e. the one for which they returned to Jalapeno Records (the label they founded!) i.e. the one on which they deliver twelve brand new covers of tracks that have inspired their career. And when I say ‘tracks that have inspired their career’ I mean seminal sixties funk, bossa, soul, surf and exotica material – many of the originals of which are mod dancefloor classics.

If you know Skeewiff of old but somehow haven’t caught any of the singles this time around, you’ll probably be expecting turbocharged, beat-heavy material. And you can certainly find that sort of thing on here. A case in point is the new ‘Wiff version of Mel Torme’s Coming Home Baby which is very much in the duo’s comfort zone, as are their breakbeat-y covers of Herb Alpert’s Spanish Flea and Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made For Walking. But actually – that sort of thing is in the minority. Elsewhere the duo play things pretty straight. Admittedly, some cuts have a slightly faster tempo than the original, (see The Cat, Exclusive Blend, Mah Na Mah Na and Wack Wack) but sometimes it’s mainly the cleaner and thus more contemporary production that provides the distinguishing feature as on Amen Brother and Misirlou – though this latter has a slo-mo intro harking back to the track’s Eastern Mediterranean origins that Dick Dale’s version certainly never had. Arguably the LP’s highlight plays it straightest of all. That would be Sway which returns to the source material – fifties bolero-mambo cut, Quién Será a.k.a Sway for Skeewiff’s biggest hit under the name of Shaft in 1999. Employing a female vocalist they head in totally the opposite direction. So, something about as slinky and sultry as a track can get, all retro chanteuse and Latin percussion with nary a big beat in sight? Yep, something like that.
(Out now on Jalapeno Records)

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