Label: NumbersScore: 8.5/10
Last week saw the release of Redinho‘s self-titled debut album with Numbers, the imprint co-founded by Jackmaster. An artist who has been our radar since his debut ‘Bare Blips’ in 2010, Tom Calvert has kept us clucking for more material after leaving an 18 month silence between his follow up ‘Edge Off’ EP on Numbers in 2011 and this album. This debut has been one of the most highly anticipated releases this year, as the three year long wait has come to an end and the heavily intricate funk-infused LP has finally landed in our laps.
The album kicks off with two minutes and twenty four seconds of a synths and drum instrumental that wouldn’t sound out of place in a fight scene from an eighties action film, more Wesley Snipes vs Sylvester Stallone than London based producer’s debut album.
But as it moves into the second track on the LP the complicity of the heavy bass and different layers distances the production from cheesy film soundtrack. As the lyrics come in the track morphs into a twisted 50 cent club tune that finally grew up and stopped oiling it’s pecs. You don’t care if “that’s whats up, hot tub” the song makes you more than happy to “grab a cup, get up and get boozy”. The song is heavily layered over the g-funk beats with bubbling melodies, multiple basslines and sexual synths, which presents a level of maturity above the vocals.
Next up an heavier bass features in ‘Playing with fire’ which flits between Modern Electronica and morphed Juke or Footwork, but with a heavier reliance on the lyrics and emotions. Although the song focuses on the dangers of an obsessive love Tom describes it as being “like when you’re baking in the full glare of the London sunshine – you make the most of it while you can, cos you know that feeling is rare.”
The album then breaks with another two minutes of instrumental, this time showcasing Tom’s slower more electronic influences, the album then slows down into ‘Searching’. The songs dub-step undertones and Electronica melody alongside the continuing funk truly highlight Redinho’s versatility and ability to draw from such conflicting genres and styles.
The tempo picks back up with ‘Shem’ a song that make you wish it was Summer again, and that you were driving in a convertible with the roof down, pretty much as if you were cruising GTA Vice City – without running over prostitutes. As if crafted entirely to drive with the sun on your back and the wind in your face, again the slightly off key melody brings a depth and maturity to what otherwise would just be another easily replaceable Summer track.
The LP is broken up again with ‘Bubbles’, another palette cleanser not that it isn’t a stand alone track in its own sense. This little breather just allows you the time before you build again to the fantastic ‘Get You Off My Mind’. The track seperates itself with some beautiful vocals from Brendan Reilly, a refreshing change to the otherwise highly talk boxed vocals in the rest of the album. Tom’s influence from Stevie Wonder really shines through in this track as the soulful lyrics and Brendan’s voice create another funky slice of Summer.
The rest of the album perfectly times itself between the slower more intricate tracks to the catchy songs that remind us of a more technically advanced Chromeo. With vocals perfectly interwoven from Vule, which again break up the rest of the heavily morphed vocals. Not one thing has been left to chance, the album flows seamlessly from track to track making up a beautiful LP to listen to from start to finish. Although listening to an entire album of this level of funk could seem overwhelming, the versatility and wide range of influences that Redinho has drawn from in production allows him to constantly keep suprising you with something fresh. We just hope now that we don’t have to wait another three years for the next album!
Words: Amii Little