Review of Featurette EP by Letherette

It's always an amazing feeling to have one of those "I remember when I first heard that tune" moments. And even though the first time I heard Letherette was a few days ago, and in my living room, I reckon I'll still be talking like a zealot about this lot many, many months from now.

Letherette Featurette EP

So here's what we know so far: a camera (and name) shy duo from Wolverhampton, Letherette first  started to appear in the better informed parts of the blogosphere a couple of years ago, via remixes for the likes of Bibio and Machinedrum, after which followed a critically wibbled over mixtape for BTS Radio. Their hallmark touches - an open minded willingness to splice hip hop, soulful house and techno into ear-worming epistles of electronic genius (Genieii?) - have since earned them a deal with Ninja Tune and Featurette is their debut EP for the maestro label. Phew.

That was obviously some build up and, thankfully, you can consider any Santa that delivers this to your iPod to be a disco distributor of festive funkiness. Letherette's trick is to never leave you stuck in the same groove for very long, and opener Warstones bobs and weaves between Daft Punk front roominess and fuzzier, late night vibe, whilst in almost total contrast the following Surface has much of the same sweet bleakness which now has the mainstream's attention via the understated vices of The Weeknd.

A duo that can't sit still then? Yeah, but forget anything about derivation. If "Dance" music as we knew it is going to form some kind of vanguard against the omnipresent scope creep of dubstep, then this kind of cerebral but dexterous approach is going to be the thing saving the day. Accordingly, if Etterwards is slightly more straightforward, on the surface a slamming eighties-inspired piece of funk, closer Wecko is something else, psychedelic 8-bit flourishes over a shuffling, head nodding break. Like a going down the rabbit hole, each laidback moment has Alice in shades, wreathed in smoke and dealing you in for the chance to beat the Queen of Hearts at her own game. It's odd, cool and fascinating, all at the same time. Bit like Letherette really. Investigate.      

Andy Peterson

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