Cooly G Playin' Me

Cooly G Playin' Me
Cooly G's new full-length consists of her familiar ingredients: humid, dub-y refractions, vacant stare, lovers rock vocals, syncopated snares and deep, round bass. Her strongest older tracks took these ingredients and generated interesting friction; it was hard for the ears to settle upon what was in the foreground and background, like wandering bleary-eyed through a dark, crowded club. Sensuous and mysterious, you'd catch a bit of breath on the back of your sweaty neck, a waft of perfume amidst the circus of strobing lights and loud music. On a good third of Playin' Me, her mirage-like paintings of bated, after-hours eroticism are replaced in favour of thin, song-oriented tracks. Cooly's vocals have always been very effective when treated as an equal facet of the sound of a track. When they're right in front steering the tracks, one clearly hears that her skills as a producer and sonic colourist greatly outstrip her abilities as a songwriter and vocalist. Closer "Up In My Head" is the strongest track of the collection, as it actually realizes the promise of this newfound aesthetic. Pitting hooky, UKG-tinged vocals against an active track and soft tufts of synth strings, the disc ends on a high note. (Hyperdub)