Saturday, August 15, 2009

‘Phonat’s the way to do it...

At 7ft tall (now that’s tall…) Italian producer Michele Balduzzi aka ‘Phonat’ clearly ain’t the kind of guy who does things by halves and his debut album’s every bit a towering as its originator. Like Coldcut back in the day and, more recently perhaps DJ Yoda, he’s a big fan of cutting and pasting all kinds of crazy shit together. On top of this try everything attitude he clearly has a real passion for ROCK too. Old school, head down, long hair RAWKKKKK. Take ‘Set Me Free’ for example, musically it’s got an Ibiza kind of vibe coupled with a power rock ballad kinda vocal. Then there’s ‘Learn to Recycle’, less a single track more an audio manifesto of Phonat’s approach. Squelchy synths, some ‘80’s style rock vocals, a bit of garage and enough artificial drum sounds to raise Keith Moon from the dead…it’s the kind of track the late, great John Hughes would be using in one of his films. Then you’ve got ‘London’, huge great slabs of rock guitar and fret wanking broken up by random bleeps and vocal samples of people ranting about ‘pointy shoes’.

Not a fan of rock? Don’t despair. There’s the electro meets ragga floor filler ‘Ghetto Burnin’’ (one of the album’s standout tracks) , ‘Bad Boy, which is a little like being locked in the boot of a max powered Sierra Cosworth and driven round Hackney (not that I’ve ever experienced that. It was a Seat of some sort…) and the Daft Punk tinged ‘It’s For You’. Sounds eclectic? That just about sums it up, but it’s an album that you’ll never get tired of dipping into either. Rated by respected tastemaker Rob da Bank and name checked by the big beat behemoth himself Mr Norman Cook it’s an ambitious debut with some moments of pure genius and a real classic rock spirit. In fact, if Led Zepplin were making dance music in 2009 this is probably what it would sound like…and that’s not a bad recommendation.

‘Phonat’ by Phonat is out on 21st September on MofoHifi Records

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