City Kay – Strange Things
Baco Records – CD, LP & Digital
I know I am guilty sometimes of getting over excited about releases. Music is so personal, one persons “favourite album ever” is the next persons “meh, its ok”. This new album by City Kay called ‘Strange Things’ taps into my personal musical DNA, it is one of those albums that you think “wow, this album was written for me”. Songs that elicit a deep emotional response make you feel so alive. Happy or sad, it doesn’t matter, it is all about expanding how you feel about the world. So hands up, I am going to rave about this one and I hope I can convince you to do the same.
Man Cultivation Struggle
The track above is a taster of what is behind the cover of this album. I have listed a Strange Things tick sheet, so if you like any of these musical styles then this album is going to touch you… reggae – 80s synth music – film soundtracks – ambient dance – hip-hop – French street music and even classical music. It is an interesting and diverse album. I have focused in this review on a couple of tracks, as these show off the diversity on offer in the Strange Things grooves.
The band are French and the members include Jay Ree Pharaoh, Loeiz, Yoann Minkoff, Mr Dread, Pierre ‘Peter Pat’ Patinec & Simon ‘Saymon’ Roger. They are a versatile bunch and as you saw in my tick sheet they bring a myriad of styles and sounds into the mix. My favourite is title track ‘Strange Things’. It is probably the most ‘reggae’ track on the album, it drips emotion and taps into that melancholic edge that my brain seems to thrive on.
If you know the film ‘Chocolat’, imagine the soundtrack mixed with a light reggae beat. The root of the track is French classical composer Erik Satie’s Trois Gnossiennes. His music was featured in Chocolat so the tie in is there. It weirdly works though and also conjures up the music of bands like Air or Groove Armada.
Throw Away Your Guns
This track is an interesting one. It features vocals from reggae legend Johnny Osbourne, which is not that remarkable in itself, lots of tracks feature guest singers. But using a reggae man on a track that has primarily an electro feel is rarer. The song is a ‘tale of two halves’, it begins with a light and slightly melancholic synth led electronic beat, reminiscent of the expressive sounds that UK band OMD produced. Johnny Osbourne’s voice is so expressive and controlled that he can work with any song. As we near the end of the track the reggae beat takes over and acts a brake, letting the rhythm reign in the beat and bring the track to a halt. It is no surprise that this is the first single off the album, it is classy stuff.
With this album you are not getting full on reggae, it is not the heavy dub I usually feature on my blog. But you do get something that stretches you, the love and care these guys have put into the album is there to see (and hear). If you like something more eclectic and something that you need to think about, then this is for you.
I hope you like the sound of this album and will support it. Please share this article on Facebook and Twitter, it not only helps my blog but also helps the band get wider exposure.
Bless, Paper Lion