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.

from Flux
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

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