Wonderful and hilarious, simultaneously. This is Deedrah: yes, Deedrah as in Reload, as in Transwave, as in GBU. Federico Baltimore is his alter-ego, the bastard son of Donald Byrd and Disco Stu, a moniker that produces deliriously laid-back lounge music.
The music itself is best described as a softer Nightmares On Wax, or a jazzier Avalanches: it’s the kind of thing you can play to your mum.
Universal appeal isn’t something that’s easy to cultivate but Dado has done well here: 51st Street Blues, Django And Me, Smoothly Blasted are all immaculate tracks that wouldn’t sound out of place on a TV advert, and I mean that in a good way.
The alias Baltimore behaves as though he’s a San Francisco cop, alternating between Sam Spade-style borderline alcoholism and Crockett n’ Tubbs retrobling.
And while all this is happening, you can’t shake the fact that one’s appreciation of the music is exponentially increased by knowing it’s Dado. The unabashed power of his big Deedrah tracks like Reload seems to make this restrained, polite side of him all the more lovable.
Plus, as anyone who’s ever seen him will know, he’s not the smallest of blokes – hence, the evocative subtlety of moments like Night And Day and Sweet Words take on an almost ironic, postmodern slant.
Six years in the making, apparently, and as such it probably contains a lot more of his personality than any review can do justice.
The bottom line for now is that this is a delectable little album. I suspect that having an “unknown” name and appearing amid a slew of other releases will push this one under somewhat; for the rest of is, it’s a hidden gem.