Lemon Slide – True Nature (Freakdance)

Posted in Reviews 2007 by - December 02, 2007

It takes precisely fourteen seconds to fall head over heels in love with this album. That’s how long the intro to opening track Peachy Beach Bitchez takes to open up before dropping into this wonderful psychedelic groove that’s made up of roughly equal parts of Prince, Roxy Music, Talking Heads and Chaka Demus & Pliers.


Let’s take a step back. Lemon Slide are Finnish. Of course. I’ve been aware of some of their mp3 releases on Antiscarp and appearances here and there, but only with the full album’s worth of space that True Nature affords them do they really come into their own.


Lemon Slide are masters at creating expansive, tight grooves. Or, to put it another way: you can’t not dance. Through Nature is an odyssey-like progression that thrashes you around the room in a hugely positive and friendly way. More balls-to-the-wall is the glorious Suomi/Reggae hybrid Time 2 Funktion, with scorched acidlines circling above rootsy vocals, and as such is possibly the only track to travel from Helsinki to Kingston by way of Anjuna in the space of seven and a half minutes.


Meanwhile Anti-Lines and Dear Me are more in keeping with the more “conventional” (I use the term loosely) Suomi vibe. Nudist is a perfectly-formed experiment in postmodern P-Funk, and Unfortunate Facts has a lazy prog quality about it that needs to be heard loud to be appreciated.


Bust A Cap In Ya S is sublime jazzy breaks, like a more involved and more psychedelic Flexitones. The progressions and changes here, not to mention the Miles Davis-like trumpets, suggest a deep musicality of the sort that would normally get lost in the confines of dance music. Unettomat is plain bonkers, but in a good way.


They take a stab at some chillout: Juha Meni Jo is missable, but the hybrid of Alan Watts, triphop and spacey dub of the hidden track at the end of the CD is a clear winner.


Last, but still significant, is the ode to Goa of Salarakas. This is dark, emotive, rolling stuff – it’s like every emotion you might get in one of Goa Gil’s 24-hour sets condensed into just a handful of blistering minutes. It is, without hesitation, wonderful.  


True Nature is a highly varied album. It may be the case that this wide-ranging variation is working against them; your attention sometimes wanders off, as moments and ideas you were really enjoying a minute or so ago are cast away like yesterday’s jam.


The significance to be drawn from this (because that’s what I do, remember) is that in a climate where so much identikit shite is coming our way, something as blissfully good fun as this can still find you. Wonderful, wonderful stuff.





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