james yuill

Album Review: Movement In A Storm - James Yuill

Okay, BlackPlastic admits it. There are times when we would much rather a hug with the right person, a sweater and a cup of tea than a night out on the sauce raving past dawn. Maybe we are getting old. Maybe it is just all about maintaining a balanced lifestyle.

Either way, some of BlackPlastic's favourite music is the stuff that sounds like it has been made for listening to whilst wearing sweaters and hugging cute girls on dance floors. And that is exactly the type of music that James Yuill makes.

Stuck midway between Hot Chip and Metronomy, Movement In A Storm is a needy thinking man's electronic soundtrack bliss. Last year's popular Prins Thomas mix of 'This Sweet Love' is as good an introduction to Yuill's work as any. It doesn't feature here but the same considered melodies run throughout 'Foreign Shore' and beyond.

What makes Movement In A Storm so great is the combination of musical flourishes - check the the twinkling bells and crunchy thick bass lines that open 'On Your Own' - and gut wrenching lyrics. These really are songs to well-up to: 'Ray Gun' is without doubt the sweetest song BlackPlastic has heard that is named after fictional weaponry and it is Yuill's lyrics that betray his innocence as he croons "Never was my ray gun on you". Geeky, sure - but that is kind of the point.

Movement In A Storm lacks the utterly irresistible immediacy of it's predecessor Turning Down Water For Air insofar as there being nothing quite as thrillingly head-over-heals-in-love as 'Left Handed Girl'. Yet what you do get is, in essence, more of the same with a bit less instant accessibility but a bit more consideration. And when it is this good BlackPlastic won't complain - we'll be on the dancefloor in a cardigan.

On that note, if you haven't checked out 'Left Handed Girl' then you really should - it is on Spotify.

BP x

Album Review: Kitsuné Maison Compilation 7 - Various Artists

If Kitsuné Maison 6 was the melodic one and 5 was Gold then this one may sadly go down as the phoned in one. It's true ladies and gents, the Maison series has jumped the shark.

It's hard to put your finger on but there is just a general lack of any sense of care and attention here. Maybe BlackPlastic has come to expect too much but, for the first time on a Kitsuné album, there is padding on the tracklisting.

Chateau Marmont's vocodered 'Beagle' is possibly the world's dullest 80s / French house hybrid - whoever picked this out of all the tracks in the world needs a slap. Similarly Renaissance Man's 'Rythym' seems content to deliver exactly 0.3 ideas across the length of the entire track. Worst of all is La Roux's return on Lifelike's mix of 'In For The Kill'. Fine, it's a catchy tune - we already admitted we liked it - and we know Kitsuné were there first, releasing 'Quicksand' last year. And Lifelike is ACE. But seriously - we all know La Roux isn't cool and will be over before her forth single.

However - when Kitsuné Maison Compilation 7 works, it really works. And it is on the laid back, sun drenched tracks this happens most. Two Door Cinema Club sound like Phoenix at the top of their game on 'Something Good Can Work' whilst Phoenix sound like, well, themselves at the top of their game on the blissful Classixx version of 'Lisztomania'. Even the Golden Filter almost manage to explain their hype on the slow and funky 'Favourite Things' whilst Autokratz finally deliver on the Yuksek mix of 'Always More'. The highlight though - Prins Thomas' mix of James Yuill's 'This Sweet Love' is not just good - it's a glorious summer's walk of a track, surpassing anything that's ever appeared on a Maison compilation in BlackPlastic's opinion.

Inconsistent then - some of the best tracks from the series combined with some of the worst. It's a shame - a little more QC and Kitsuné Maison 7 could have been the best yet.

BP x