a.j. holmes The King of the New Electric Hi-Life (CD, £4.50)
Once in a while, at a certain point of their career musicians decide not to give their work some lyrical title, but simply name it after themselves. Often this decision is taken in order to convey that they have reached a point where their music is unique and inseparable from them. Vanishing Breed is one of these. After two records, he takes the step towards making music only under his own name. Now Vanishing Breed is called just like man behind it - A.J. Holmes. Furthermore, the bold album title "The King of the New Electric Hi-Life" tells the listener: Here's someone who takes royal pride in presenting his music, and that music is West-African Hi-Life folk tradition imbued in finest electronica. Fans of his music will remember: Already on his first E.P., "The seasons" (Static Caravan, 2003), his striking vocals conjured up the "New Electric Hi-Life", on the track "Bird at daybreak". However, A.J. Holmes isn't only one, but many, because the album has just as many different faces, atmospheres and ethnic influences as the currently Berlin-based Brit himself. Anne Laplantine as well as Joao Orecchia, Robert Truscott and Shintaro Taketani support him musically, and his tracks are crowned by his own emotional and sometimes self-ironic lyrics.
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