|VG14 HOT CHIP "Mexico EP"
|from Record Collector
|This EP is undeniably beautiful and despite our best
efforts, we find it hard to avoid comparisons with Blur in their more
acoustic, mellow moments. Through a different lens, the Chip (as we
call them in the biz) are similar to Nick Cave or even Neil Young.
But one thing is for certain, it is always kept relaxed and mellow.
These are well-performed, pretty tunes that keep afloat on the choppy
ocean known as twee.
|from Losing Today
|For a debut outing this is astounding, there are people
who've been in the business for aeons who couldn't hope to reach this
level of craft man ship that this duo create over the course of six
tracks. Overall sounding close to Will Oldham/Palace Brothers, Hot
Chip pride themselves on slow evolving melodies, partly coloured with
a sense of the new alt country and partly still decamped in classic
Gram Parsons and Buffalo Springfield lines. 'Beeting' the opening
track really has a sense of Neil Young in calmer and thoughtful moments
about it. 'Perfect Circle' has to be the best of the six tracks, weaving
inconspicuously hitting a slightly weird moment half way through when
you think the CD players about to have heart failure. 'Perfect Circle'
just snakes endlessly, capturing and holding your attention long passed
the Ry Cooder-ish solo at the close. Most curious and welcome is the
closing track, given the purist nature of the e.p. as a whole, 'Mersion/Version'
sees Hot Chip utilising synth sounds to great cinematic effect, though
methinks they've tampered with the mastering which sounds by and large
warped, adding I suppose to the twisted nature trademarked elsewhere.
A perfect medicinal cure for those who prefer a more traditional and
earthy approach, and to think that if all is true as reported by Victory
Gardens they have at least one hundred songs in the can.
|Sadness drifts comfortably from your speakers. The
lo-fi production strips the sentiment bare as acoustic guitar twangs
reflect the distress being felt. Music for those who will probably
stay in tonight.
|from AMG All Music Guide
|It begins with the strong arpeggiation of a lonesome
acoustic guitar - then sparse piano plinking. Quietly, a sad, beautiful
voice, at first faraway and then breathtakingly intimate, enters the
picture. What follows is surely as moving as anything Jeff Buckley
ever created, but minus his sometimes-distracting vocal acrobatics.
Such is "Beeting," the opening track of London's Hot Chip's 2000 Mexico
EP. A duo in the studio but a quintet live, Hot Chip's primary members
are Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard. Minimalist and straightforward
in their melancholia, "Beeting" is one of the most gorgeous songs
committed to tape in ages, perhaps since the death of Nick Drake,
and its simplicity is half of its charm, especially in a musical climate
dominated by pretentious popsters (read: Radiohead) and rap-rock phonies.
The songs tend to latch onto short musical riffs and repeat them to
a brilliant, almost hypnotic effect. The swirling bliss of "Tape Spool
Sound" again finds a gorgeous voice leading the way, while "Perfect
Circle" showcases a sleepy techno track with the vocals handled by
a quiet-voiced man speaking, barely singing, rather like speaking
musically, like breathy poetry. "The Only One, Yeah" is eerily quiet,
played on an acoustic guitar with creepy feedback in the background
and haunting, almost intoxicated vocals in the foreground (perhaps
most easily described as being loosely similar in timbre to a sedate
Damon Albarn or Andy Cairns). Returning to Hot Chip's understated
beauty is "Sometimes All I Need," which features the spot-on opening
line, "Sometimes all I need is to lie on my floor/Stereo headphones/Crown
of thorns." Released through London's uber-indie label Victory Garden
Records (run by members of the label's own Southall Riot), Hot Chip's
Mexico EP is a testament to the sad fact that some of the most poignant
music in the world will probably go overlooked by the mainstream.
But thanks to some kindred spirits, like the folks at Victory Garden,
great music is out there, listeners just have to turn off the radio
and go look for it. - Karen E. Graves
Previous VG Review | Next