"But what is great about this record is its discipline. It never allows the eclecticism inherent in it to get out of hand and ruin the show. "
Pedro – You Me and Everyone
I love it when you stumble across something that seems utterly nondescript (both in cover and in vibe) yet turns out to be just brilliant. Pedro’s release is onesuch, especially once you allow its clever grooves and arrangements to take hold of your senses. Things start quietly enough and Intro (Asleep) could be anyone who records with electronic equipment frankly, but things soon settle down with the spangly, jerky, ever so slightly breakbeat-ish tracks I Am Keeping Up and Hallelujah. So far, so good.
The LP really kicks off with Lung, which is a demented series of squiggles and samples over a stentorian shuffle, and the marvellous Spool which kicks off like Faust and starts to enter some form of groovy Sound Gallery/easy listening territory almost at whim. Green Apples follows a similar path, albeit with more abandon and more attention to a woozy hippy philosophy. At times you could be listening to Akron/Family.
It’s twin, Red Apples, starts off sounding like a pre-pubescent Kraftwerk being tutored by Derek Griffiths on some 70s kids TV programme. Out of nowhere vaguely celebratory New Order style synths kick in and we’re suddenly surrounded by squiggly noises. Far from sounding like a dogs-dinner it’s pretty magnificent.
But what is great about this record is its discipline. It never allows the eclecticism inherent in it to get out of hand and ruin the show. Hooks and beats are always on hand to give reassurance. Rather, the almost schizophrenic sampling sounds exciting, something to be trusted and enjoyed. This is best seen in the DJ Shadow-like Hope is a Happiness, all samples and breakbeats that somehow wed strings and piano loops into a coruscating and very well crafted mix of sound, and the bonkers Vitamins, which is at times close to a Gabba beat (until it decides sampling bits of Neu!’s Neuschnee and lots of brass instruments is a better bet).
Well, you should get the picture by now. Investigate without delay.
Words: Richard Foster