We’ve already touched on the fact that there’s perhaps something in the water south of the river. A rich vein of creativity has been carefully simmering for a few years now in South London and a strong proponent of this new wave is the man who goes by the name of Mo Kolours, the recording alias of UK producer, percussionist and singer Joseph Deenmamode.
Deenmamode first ascended onto the scene in early 2011, a Gilles Peterson co-sign and his inclusion on Alex Chase’s One-Handed Music roster helping him to transcend the usual trappings of the underground circuit. Three years later and following a triptych of EPs that first introduced us to his forward-thinking sound, yesterday saw this initial chapter draw to a close with the release of his self-titled debut album.
An 18-track odyssey (but clocking in at a mere 32 minute running time), Deenmamode’s first full length is an inventive wander through a myriad of musical influences, with elements of psychedelic soul and funk, hip-hop, electronica, house and dub all juxtaposed deep in the mix. It’s a collection of sound collages, some fully formed, some presented as sketches, but nevertheless a cohesive work, predominantly born out of the extensive use of percussive techniques and chopped samples that pepper each track. As with his previous EPs, there’s a languid, almost disjointed feel to the album, influenced no doubt by the producer’s dual Mauritian-British heritage and his reported studies into the sub-tropical sounds of the island’s traditional Sega music. It’s these loping rhythms that seemingly give a worldly, exotic feel to the beats, as hand claps, shakers, whistles and wood blocks collide to form the basis on which the rest of the melodies sit.
While the atmospheric opener ‘Brixton House‘ sets the precedent for the sonic experiments to come, the album springs into life with one of the early standouts, the recent single ‘Little Brown Dog‘, a feel good groove built around a heavy kick and whimsical steel drum sample while Deenmamode recounts a tale about his dog. Elsewhere, ‘Mike Black‘, a tribute song to 1970s British funk group Cymande, saunters into view, the laid back vocal drifting over a whirring synth line and galloping beat, while ‘In Her Eyes (Funk Heart)‘ is a low-slung, bass heavy beast of a tune that comes highly recommended. It’s this kind of left leaning approach to beat making and songwriting that make this album such an intriguing listen. With every new rewind comes a new discovery, and it certainly doesn’t take itself too seriously, ‘Play It Loud (In Your Car)‘ being a great example in point, Deenmamode taking something as mundane as an in-depth knowledge of car makes and models to craft a playful two-minute gem, weaving in as he does shout-outs to fellow beatsmith and label mate Paul White and the 22a crew.
Overall the album is another fascinating glimpse into the mind of one of London’s most promising (and creative) producers, offering up as it does a number of accomplished nuggets for our summer soundtrack, if not also for our end of year list. Stream the album in full below and grab the vinyl or CD at your local store (be quick though, pre-orders on the OHM Bandcamp sold out!)
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