HOLMES, A.J. - THE KING OF THE NEW ELECTRIC HI-LIFE (CD)
"Once in a while, at a certain point of their career musicians decide not to give their work some lyrical title, but simply name it after themselves. Often this decision is taken in order to convey that they have reached a point where their music is unique and inseparable from them. Vanishing Breed is one of these. After two records, he takes the step towards making music only under his own name. Now Vanishing Breed is called just like man behind it - A.J. Holmes. Furthermore, the bold album title "The King of the New Electric Hi-Life" tells the listener: Here's someone who takes royal pride in presenting his music, and that music is West-African Hi-Life folk tradition imbued in finest electronica. Fans of his music will remember: Already on his first E.P., "The seasons" (Static Caravan, 2003), his striking vocals conjured up the "New Electric Hi-Life", on the track "Bird at daybreak". Hi-Life is a genre originally from West Africa: 1999 in London's East End, A.J. Holmes became the neighbour of Hi-Life musician Folo Graff, an emigrant from Sierra Leone. There he taught Holmes to pick the guitar in the palm wine style of Hi-Life. Since then, Holmes has been refining his technique, and through the use of his digital technology (and that of London producer Sculpture) he managed to arrive at something totally and delightfully unique: the New Electric Hi-Life. The King Of The New Electric Hi-Life is West-African tradition turned into a contemporary example of British/European modern pop: This is the formula from which A.J. Holmes develops irresistible dance tracks like "Lumumba Berlin Sex City", instrumentals with a fragile swing like "Schloss Lanke", pop tunes with earworm qualities like "For Export Only", or heart-warming love songs like "Nino". However, A.J. Holmes isn't only one, but many, because the album has just as many different faces, atmospheres and ethnic influences as the currently Berlin-based Brit himself. Anne Laplantine as well as Joăo Orecchia, Robert Truscott and Shintaro Taketani support him musically, and his tracks are crowned by his own emotional and sometimes self-ironic lyrics." (label info) Available again, better price!