Saturday, 7 September 2013

GANG COLOURS LED BY EXAMPLE

Here is some really moody music. I don't mean moody as in, ill-tempered, but moody as in brims with emotion. Yep. Exactly that. It's from the Southampton-native (that's in the UK for people that don't know) Gang Colours and it's called 'Led By Example' - it comes from his upcoming second album, Invisible In Your City, out 16th September on Gilles Peterson's label, Brownswood. It is a storm of sound that suits perfectly this sudden transition from Summer to Autumn - perhaps it's just my mood. Either way, it's slow and sultry and it packs a damn nice punch.

It begins with piano chords, the type that progress in such a way as to conjure the feeling of rain falling, a hollow sound in those wooden tones. Sampling his own voice, it loops alongside the richly reverbing chords. Unrelenting bass zooms in taking no prisoners. It wobbles the air and helps to herald the semblance of a beat creeping in from underneath. Mr Gang Colours (aka Will Ozanne) himself sings on the track, sounding good in layers with thick dollops of echo giving it a faraway sound. Here the bass becomes meaner, resonant, as the beat begins to shake nervously all around.

A break gives the piano a chance to have its own spotlight once more, synth chords building up to the next drop into an ocean of bass and more glorious vocals. In some ways, this is a mire of melancholy close to bleakness yet it's done in such a way that makes it beautiful. The music itself, the melodies, the detached tinkling of the piano, the near monotone frankness of Will's own nicely textured voice, gives it an atmosphere of measured sadness without it actually sounding "dark".

There's a beat here, but there's nothing so concrete as to give you a clue into which genre it might neatly slot. That's what's so nice about this - it's completely fresh. It's not particularly following anything that's gone before it. Literally, if somebody asked me, "What kinda music is this?" I'd say, "dunno" - that's how much of an expert I am. There's a mix of organic sounds, a slow concentrated selection of beats, samples, heavily altered vocals - all to a slow, dirgy rhythm. I don't know if the title is supposed to be ironic or not because this definitely doesn't seem led by example. In any case, I've exhausted myself. It's a nice song. Let's be happy that there's more to come.

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