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City Kay
Strange Things

City Kay — Strange Things (16th March, 2018)

                        City Kay — Strange Things (16th March, 2018)
?■♠■?           City Kay je šestičlenná francouzská kapela se silným akcentem na crossover, v současnosti usazená v Londýně. Album však obsahuje nádech Vintage Roots v moderně pojaté produkci Electro Pop: jsou zde odkazy na zlatý věk Reggae, to vše v interakci s atmosférickými zvuky, Elektro Beatem, minimalisticky osázenou půdou, kde je dostatek vláhy pro klávesy inspirované New Yorskou školou. V této sadě najdete i styl nuff. Synťáček ovládl píseň Mad Men, atmosférická stopa v písni No Politricians You Fool You zahrnuje projev indického myslitele Krishnamurtiho. Jakoby na albu šlo o jakýsi zápas stylů, řekl bych hlavní kultivační zápas mezi non~reggae melodiemi a krokovými vlivy, zatímco titulní skladba (ta okamžitě zaujme výrazným hlasem) nabízí groovy reggae beat. Perlička k písni Strange Things: pokud jste viděli film Čokoláda, jako že asi ano, představte si soundtrack smíchaný s lehčím reggae~beatem. Úvod skladby je jakoby motiv od francouzského klasického skladatele (Erik Satie: Trois Gnossiennes). Pracoval vysoce experimentálně s formou, rytmem a strukturou akordů. Formu i termín vynalezl Satie. Ten mix prapodivně funguje a také vyvolává asociace na tvorbu kapel jako Air nebo Groove Armada.Vše je bizarní, lépe se to poslouchá, nejlépe s drahým pitím. Uslyšíme dobře sestavené reggae melodie s nečekanou přestávkou v páté písní, pak hned v následující pevné hip~hopové vibrace. Pro znalce klasiky chuťovka od Wailing Souls — We Got to Be Together z r. 1995 (Island), ta je naprosto přepracovaná. Následující Trouble Is Now Coming Your Way je rychlá melodie, která se dotýká atmosféry reggae, stejně jako stepující nálady. Popová balada Tension je následována závěrečnou melodií Throw Away Your Guns, ve které se Johnny Osbourne představuje v jemňoulinkém stylu. Zajímavé crossoverové album, ale rozhodně ne pro reggae puristy. 
Ben Tais Amundssen
?■♠■?           Après l’album DAYSTAR entre Reggae UK et Electro Pop, CITY KAY va plus loin dans le crossover et nous livre un nouvel album singulier.
?■♠■?           Avec STRANGE THINGS, le groupe rennais intègre un noyau Roots Vintage dans une production Electro Pop contemporaine : les références à l’âge d’or du Reggae côtoient nappes atmosphériques, beats électro, textures et claviers minimalistes inspirés de l’Ecole New Yorkaise. A l’instar de l’abstract Hip~Hop, on peut parler d’Abstract Roots.
?■♠■?           Tout en visitant d’autre genres de la Bass Culture, CITY KAY se joue des codes, déstructure son reggae jusqu’à l’abstraction, affirmant sa singularité artistique.
Location: Rennais, France ~ London, UK
Album release: 16th March, 2018
Record Label: Baco Records
Duration:     42:00
Tracks:
01 Mad Men     5:57 
02 No Politicians Fool You     5:02 
03 Man Cultivation Struggle     3:57 
04 Strange Things     3:59 
05 Mind Under Control     3:48 
06 Run for Your Soul     4:12
07 We Got to Be Together     3:13 
08 Trouble Is Now Coming Your Way     4:24 
09 Tension     3:38 
10 Throw Away Your Guns (feat. Johnny Osbourne)     4:16 
℗ 2018 Baco Records
Review
?■♠■?           Iknow I am guilty sometimes of getting over excited about releases. Music is so personal, one persons “favourite album ever” is the next persons “meh, its ok”. This new album by City Kay called ‘Strange Things’ taps into my personal musical DNA, it is one of those albums that you think “wow, this album was written for me”. Songs that elicit a deep emotional response make you feel so alive. Happy or sad, it doesn’t matter, it is all about expanding how you feel about the world. So hands up, I am going to rave about this one and I hope I can convince you to do the same.
Man Cultivation Struggle
?■♠■?           The track above is a taster of what is behind the cover of this album. I have listed a Strange Things tick sheet, so if you like any of these musical styles then this album is going to touch you… reggae — 80s synth music — film soundtracks — ambient dance — hip~hop — French street music and even classical music. It is an interesting and diverse album. I have focused in this review on a couple of tracks, as these show off the diversity on offer in the Strange Things grooves.
Strange Things
?■♠■?           The band are French and the members include Jay Ree Pharaoh, Loeiz, Yoann Minkoff, Mr Dread, Pierre ‘Peter Pat’ Patinec & Simon ‘Saymon’ Roger. They are a versatile bunch and as you saw in my tick sheet they bring a myriad of styles and sounds into the mix. My favourite is title track ‘Strange Things’. It is probably the most ‘reggae’ track on the album, it drips emotion and taps into that melancholic edge that my brain seems to thrive on.
?■♠■?           If you know the film ‘Chocolat’, imagine the soundtrack mixed with a light reggae beat. The root of the track is French classical composer Erik Satie’s Trois Gnossiennes. His music was featured in Chocolat so the tie in is there. It weirdly works though and also conjures up the music of bands like Air or Groove Armada.
Throw Away Your Guns
?■♠■?           This track is an interesting one. It features vocals from reggae legend Johnny Osbourne, which is not that remarkable in itself, lots of tracks feature guest singers. But using a reggae man on a track that has primarily an electro feel is rarer. The song is a ‘tale of two halves’, it begins with a light and slightly melancholic synth led electronic beat, reminiscent of the expressive sounds that UK band OMD produced. Johnny Osbourne’s voice is so expressive and controlled that he can work with any song. As we near the end of the track the reggae beat takes over and acts a brake, letting the rhythm reign in the beat and bring the track to a halt. It is no surprise that this is the first single off the album, it is classy stuff. 
Baco Records
?■♠■?           With this album you are not getting full on reggae, it is not the heavy dub I usually feature on my blog. But you do get something that stretches you, the love and care these guys have put into the album is there to see (and hear). If you like something more eclectic and something that you need to think about, then this is for you.
?■♠■?           Strange Things is out on the 16th March on Baco Records. Check out the City Kay website for more on the band and you can pick the album up from the Baco website.
?■♠■?           I hope you like the sound of this album and will support it. Please share this article on Facebook and Twitter, it not only helps my blog but also helps the band get wider exposure.   Bless, Paper Lion
?■♠■?           http://reggaerootsreview.com/
Label: http://www.bacorecords.fr/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/citykay/
Website: http://www.citykaymusic.com/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/citykay
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City Kay
Strange Things

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