Monday, 11 November 2013

PAROV STELAR - ALBUM REVIEW

Parov Stelar - The Art Of Sampling (Dramatico/Etage Noir) 
Parov Stelar - The Art Of Sampling

Release Date: 4th November 2013

Austrian DJ Parov Stelar is, for my money, a bit of an underground hero waiting to hit the big time. This collection, 'The Art Of Sampling', fuses a whole range of styles to create a sound that would sit perfectly in a lively, cool city bar where people want to live the high life in their finest clothes and rub noses with the beautiful people. I have already given my thoughts on the opening track in another review but needless to say I still think 'Keep On Dancing (feat. Marvin Gaye)' is an amazing tune and worthy of more outings on our airwaves. 'Josephine (feat. Anduze)' is a jazzy, swinging tune and is the first glimpse we get of Stelar's penchant for reed instruments that feature heavily throughout the album. The soulful, Nina Simone-esque tones of 'Heaven's Radio (feat. Y'akoto)' follow on sounding for all the world like the tune Moby, Laura Mvula and Ceelo Green would come up with given enough hooch and woes. But it's the infectious stomp of 'She Ain't Got No Money (feat Lukas Graham)' that is the next single in the making if you ask me. Fusing the blues swing of Aloe Black and answering the lyrical posturing of Kanye West's 'Gold Digger', Stelar has created something of a potential smash and quite an addictive one it is too.

The piano riff on 'All Night' soon gives way to a funked up dance romp that has an appeal that I can't put my finger on. Stelar has an ability to put things together that shouldn't work but he makes them work and that is a genuine talent (seriously, the only combination I've ever created that worked was Peanut Butter and Bovril. Genuinely. Try it). However, there is a down side. Every now again, Stelar falls of the taste beam on to the europop crash matt. 'Catgroove' is fun but reminds of that infernal 90s hit 'Doop' and 'The Phantom (1930 Version)' is 'Doop' mixed with DJ Otzi....after one too many espressos. And don't even get me started on the Edith Piaf meets Flat Eric nutsiness that is 'Libella Swing'. 'The Mojo Radio Gang (Radio Version)' goes slightly easier on the Clarinet and Charleston combo, instead using a bitchin' horn riff and some well placed Piano. After a brief moment where he thinks he's Daft Punk on 'Love Remix', Stelar gets sexy, in a morbid kind of way, on 'Milla's Dream' which is full of smoky sax, tinkly keys and sweeping strings as well as some scratchy old vocals from, undoubtedly, some sturdy French chanteuse.

In to the home straight with the piano lead funk of 'Matilda' followed by 'Shine (feat. Lilja Bloom)' which sounds like the incidental music from some Scandinavian cop show produced by Portishead. Finishing up with 'Jimmy's Gang (Radio Edit)', Stelar is once again obsessed with the swing era which, by this point, is getting a little tiresome. However, there are so many genuinely amazing tracks on this album that you can forgive the man a bit of misguided obsession. I'm going to be a bit bold and say that this is better than the over hyped offering by Daft Punk this year and many won't agree but, hey, if you don't agree then get your own blog. This is my house and in my house we dance around the kitchen to Parov Stelar. If you don't like it you know where the door is...

More information: http://www.parovstelar.com/


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