Apparently itís mighty cold in British dance halls these days. You
see, a "nu-chill" movement is currently frosting over every UK beat
parlour from Brighton to Bristol. As it happens, London-based duo
Lemon Jelly, alongside groups such as Bent, Alpinestars, Zero 7 and
Blue States, are at the epicenter of this coldest of dancefloor movements.
Lemonjelly.ky, which collects the duoís first three out-of-print,
vinyl-only EPs, blends the laid-back cool of '60s lounge and the
retro-cheese of '70s funk with the disjointed beats of '80s new-wave and
the sampledelic tendencies of '90s dance, all of which makes for one extremely frosty 21st
While they're one of the groups currently dodging the "British
Air" tag (As in Air [French Band], not some sort of weird airline reference - Ed), Fred Deakin and Nick Franglin (a DJ and a graphic designer,
respectively) have more in common with another pair of Frenchmen,
Parisian dance pranksters Daft Punk. Neither group appears as themselves
in any of their press photos, and both groups possess a decadently odd sense
of humor that is immediately evident in their music. Furthermore,
both groups have the synthesis of image and sound down to a tee.
But donít be fooled. Even though Lemonjelly.ky's cover looks
like something straight out of Wavy Gravyís closet, its sound owes much
more to the work of '60s luminaries like John Barry, Esquivel and
Jean-Jacques Perrey. "His Majesty King Raam" and "In the Bath" are both
prime examples of the Jellies at work -- or more aptly, at play. Both
songs combine obvious sample savvy with low-key beats and glistening
keyboards, creating a sound that is at once organic and futuristic.
Elsewhere, the quirky "A Tune for Jack" samples jazz legend Ken Nordine,
then proceeds to lead him by the hand through a neon-colored wilderness
filled with slinky bossa nova beats and squelchy synth belches. "Kneel
Before Your God" is dance music for people who like to keep their butts
firmly planted in their seats, while album closer "Come"'s downbeat
groove, heavenly sampled vocals and plucky guitar make it the most
perfect make-out song ever.
Search out a copy of Lemonjelly.ky and youíll soon discover that this is
one lemon that wonít leave you puckering with distaste.