ENDANGERED SPECIES (Wolf + Lamb)
No Regular Play have earned themselves a solid reputation for making DJ-friendly, slightly off-kilter house music spiced up with woozily-delivered vocals and canny ‘live’ instrumentation. Their first full-length on Wolf + Lamb, Endangered Species, sees the duo experiment with slower tempos and broken rhythms, punctuated by more familiar ‘club-friendly’ tracks, all produced in the same seemingly nonchalant fashion. But this insouciance belies their talent. El Dorado, for instance, starts with an ominous-sounding bassline, is pressed on by Paulus’s urgently riffing trumpet, breaks down satisfyingly about halfway and winds down later on with some smart, jazzy, Fender Rhodes-y chord sequencing. Other highlights include the softly funky Never Had Enough, slo-mo hip-hop(ish) meandering on Nameless, and the swaggering title track. There are a few duds, however, especially the unconvincing foray into leftfield rap on Kickback, and some won’t like the glossily-produced, Brooklyn aesthetic of the whole thing, but there’s plenty here for both the home-listener and the club-goer looking for a bit more musicianship in their electronic music.
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Words: Robert Bates