(Hospital Records, April 25th)
At a time when the world seems to be falling apart, London Elektricty injects some warmth into the soul of the drum and bass scene with his fifth studio album Yikes!
Tony Colman has never been one to follow trends and Yikes! shows no indication of that changing. The album is overflowing with carefree piano hooks and poignant lurching bass while the lyrical content is, surprisingly, bursting with meaning and relevance. The album features vocals from Swedish singer/songwriter Elsa Esmeralda and a drum session from Pendulums’ KJ Sawka.
‘Elektricity Will Keep Me Warm’ is an emotional piece sparsely decorated with airy piano stabs and sombre vocals that hints to the reflective sound that the album is to maintain.
‘Meteorites’ piercingly breaks the gloomy hold of the opening track. The trance like synth stabs and piano rolls accompany not only the tone of Esmeraldas voice but the story that she is telling. Buoyant, panned and filtered percussion stochastically punctuate the silent parts of the track.
‘Had a Little Fight’ and ‘The Plan That Cannot Fail’ are indicative of older London Elektricity works. Modulated and swelling bass lines complement the euphoric chord progressions. Esmeraldas voice is replaced by equally tender lead synths that almost have a story to tell themselves.
The title track ‘Yikes!’ is a truly danceable track. The syncopated Jungle drums are carefully coated in vocal tweaks that intensify the incredibly upbeat and optimistic feel of the track.
The second half of the album takes a drastically different turn. ‘Fault Lines’ is a down tempo sullen track that comes in directly after the euphoria of ‘Yikes!’ It is eerily relevant to the natural disasters that struck Japan and New Zealand several weeks prior to the albums release. The track was however written and completed over a year ago. ‘U Gotta B Crazy’ is an odd track; it does however serve to lift the murky darkness that stemmed from ‘Fault Lines’. ‘Round the World In a Day’ features Pendulums’ KJ Sawka on the drums. The first minute of the track was recorded in 1978 by London Elektricity and has an antiquated vibe that strangely fits with the live drumming. The song sounds like it is futuristic rock and roll with a fast-soul-music edge. ‘Flesh Music’ is a full tempo roller that feels as though it was purposely squeezed in near the end to round off the album and unfortunately would have been better left out.
‘Invisible Worlds’ captures the state of the world today and is a perfectly executed closing track. It concludes both the album and Esmeraldas story fittingly. As a whole, London Elektricity’s tracks seem to progress in a way that not many in the scene are doing today. The second drop of each song is different to the first, but not by too much to distract from the song structure and by just enough to keep you listening and wanting more.