Review of Letherette Album by letherette

Letherette are a relatively anonymous production duo from Wolverhampton whom we first met at the end of last year via their Featurette EP, a debut release on Ninja Tune and one that covered numerous bases between house, techno and the lustrous experimental nu funk of contemporaries such as Rustie.

letherette Letherette Album

Possibly the most intriguing quality it revealed though was a rare talent for being introspective whilst still delivering the dancefloor goods whenever questions are being asked. Featurette survivor Warstones is probably the best example of the latter, deploying pneumatic beats, cut up vocal samples and a snare that sharp it needs a health warning, but the adapted R&B of opener After Dawn and the equally sassy Restless also makes a case for our heroes chucking the dubstep baby out with the bathwater and loving it.

If this is one half of their equation, the other - mood driven aesthetics that owe much to the original Balearic sounds of the Cafe Del Mar series - is also present in perfect balance. Borrowing from the era in the early part of this century when its quixotic mix of jazz, hip hop and candle-lit acoustics was known confusingly as "Chill out", on Gas Stations & Restaurants, they've re-imagined soul in the child like scribblings of Boards of Canada, whilst Cold Calm eventually builds into a deep, cosmic groove that 6am terrace Sunday sunrises were made for.

This dichotomy - sending the listener into a blissful trance whilst still making sure their feet are moving - is one that elevates Letherette above the plethora of vaguely left field laptronica acts. As if to emphasise this, its final two offerings are both soaked in head nodding ennui, Hard Martha  is dreamy and anything but, whilst the looped guitar phrases and ethereal vocals of Say The Sun looks back even further to Ultramarine's ethno-folk masterpiece United Kingdoms

Still less than in your face, the quasi-anonymous Lether boys may have a real problem - a requirement for a public profile and people wanting to know who they are and sh*t. For now, the men with no name are the beat wizards with no shame. Or who don't do lame. Or for whom it ain't a game. Hold on - why am I writing their much needed biography?  

Andy Peterson

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