Loopus In Fabula – Fat Ladies’ Bingo (Fabula)

Posted in Reviews 2006 by - May 30, 2006

 

The third album from the wonderfully twisted Italian duo is a definite evolution from their previous releases, but not necessarily in the right direction. Doofy Duck opens up and things are promising. The groove and bounce are retained, the production is bubbly and slick, and the acidic wibbles are all in the right place. It moves nicely with cartoon samples, jazzy stabs, and some wonderfully squelchy acid.

Controversy is possibly the first record I’ve reviewed to feature Prince samples; I’m not entirely sure what to make of that statistic, but the tune itself is just as funky as you would expect. Stabs are all over the place, and while the bottomend is deliriously fat and chunky, it lacks a bit of direction. Loopus’ remix of Visnudata’s Dreamschwartz is a tricky one. It opens up with Bukem-esque drum n’bass atmospherics, then loses this in favour of a pulverising bassline coupled with largely random topend plinks. The sort of track that makes you frown when you listen to it. Things pick up with YSD, which has a cute, hugely psychedelic vibe. It runs along smoothly, picking up delirious funk, stretched organic vox, and cheeky disco samples. Class.

Fat Old Ladies is moodier, firmly bass-chakra stuff with sprinkles of funk, Duran Duran and psychedelia; a mix you’re unlikely to get anywhere else, but one that can’t save the tune from being a bit directionless. Funky Express is a little too twisted to be funky; with more definition, more focus it could be a cracker, as the ideas are all in the right place. What we’re left with is a track that doesn’t really grab the attention in the same way as Loopus’ best work does. Feel Again contains more than a nod to Donna Summer. It’s funky, it’s unashamedly disco, and there are moments of extreme phatness but there’s a feeling that there’s something lacking. Your mind sort of wanders off onto other things and I can’t see this tune fully engaging a dancefloor.

Rock It uses samples from Herbie Hancock’s track, sparingly for the most part. Plenty of changes: it cluds along, then get funky, then cluds again. The sounds are glassy and three-dimensonal, and all in all this is definitely the most original and loveable track on the album. Finally, Let’s Dance is a lawyer-baiting remix of David Bowie’s track, better for my money than last year’s Blanka rework. However, and in all of this, you can’t help thinking that what make Loopus so great is somehow missing here.

Where the first album was fully-drenched freeform psychedelia, and Astrofunk was an addictive meshing of psychedelic-funk and funky-psychedelic, Fat Ladies Bingo gets bogged down in places and has you wondering quite what they are trying to achieve. Maybe that’s the point, of course – but I for one expected a little more from this.

 

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