Sepalot – Red Handed (Compost/Inertia)


Sepalot - Red Handed

Being on Compost Records, I approached this album with a degree of trepidation, Compost is a label I once had love for, releasing some of the most cutting edge jazz oriented electronic music of the last 15 years or more. Looking back through my record collection, many Compost releases still shine through, still sound fresh, but they lost their edge in my opinion, veering too far into the dull “nu-jazz’ sound, so overdone.

Sepalot from Munich has produced a pretty solid album here, not too far removed from the production style of current heavy weights such as Flying Lotus, Dabrye, Rustie and Hudson Mohawk. The beats are low slung and lazy, not as skewed as Flying Lotus and the others, but the synth lines are all there, a constant rolling barrage of electronics, bolted to the rhythm, creating a distinctive futuristic groove.

I get distracted by the vocals however, knowing the origins of the producer, I can’ seem to get past his use of US vocalists and mc’, it just doesn’ gel for me, doesn’ sound right. I can’ quite explain it, flitting between rap and r’n’b vocal styles, with a distinctive American twang, tone and delivery, I feel this is where it lacks as a whole album. Musically it flows well, but to my ears becomes messy with the varying vocal contributions, not saying the lyricists are bad, just that they don’ seem to fit comfortably, or complement the musicality.

Wayne Stronell


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