Published Oct 01, 2009Kanye West flirts with that rarefied level of notoriety known as "famous just for being famous". 808s And Heartbreak seems like it came out during the stone age due to all the ink (and, um, pixels) spilled over his extra-musical shenanigans since its release. Like so many pop culture sensations in this here age of social networking, his antics both musical and otherwise have spawned legions of personalized imitations.
Add eclectic London based band The Noisettes to the list of those on the fringes of West-ern culture. Their previous album What's The Time Mr. Wolf? was an amazing blend of furious rock thrash, acrobatic vocals by Shingai Shoniwa and a strong dose of danceability. Their latest disc Wild Young Hearts (released last week) downplays the aggression for a spiky variant of nu-soul. Fortunately Shoniwa is still a pretty eccentric vocalist in the vein of legendary British iconoclast Nicolette. "Upset Lockdown" has united these two outside-the-lines artists in one project.
Producer Mick Boogie (Talib Kweli, Little Brother) has cobbled together an entire album of samples from 808s with vocal samples from Wild Young Hearts to produce a sound that, judging from "Upset Lockdown" is greater than the sum of its parts. The original music behind the Noisettes "Don't Upset The Rhythm" is fairly standard-issue pop-funk, but the redone version features a less-perfect, more casually funky drum track. The "Love Lockdown" samples don't overpower the track with their instantly recognizable star power. There's still a 1960s vibe to the tune, but it's as much garage rock as super-dynamite soul. Very tasty.
No release date has been scheduled for the full length project.
Download The Noisettes "Upset Lockdown" here via Okayplayer.