You know when you sleep on something (figuratively), then subsequently realise how thoroughly ILL that overlooked thing was, and kick yourself for not being on the ball? As far as LV and Joshua idehen’s Routes album, released in May, is concerned, it’s very much a case of that.
LV are a trio who’ve produced some highly acclaimed experimental electronic music under the Hyperdub label and are back with Routes, a stellar album that’s as playful as it is punchy. There’re so many complementary though seemingly contrasting elements to this album. Spoken word, meets rap phonics over electronic, bubbling xylophone percussions, for a start is a rarity. Then we have Joshua Idehen’s culturally ambiguous dialect over a distinctly London backdrop. The album explores journeys, as their 2010 album 38 did similarly, and from the guffaw inducing silliness of ‘Northern Line‘, through to the moody demenour of ‘Never Tried‘ and utter brilliance of ‘Deleted Scenes‘, the various passages Routes takes are always easy on the ear.
This really is a Londoner’s soundtrack. Cultural exchange, frustration, desire, abandon, ambience… this album’s brimming with vibes- the ballsy kind that’re recognisable to any Big Smoke dweller.
The bassy yet bubbly production on Routes is good enough to eat, so the sounds would do well as a purely instrumental offering, yet Benin City frontman Joshua Idehen’s narrative is such a welcomed addition. Josh has a way of saying exactly what you weren’t thinking, but engaging you anyway. He’s witty, has an absolutely delectable way with words and masters a perfectly balanced cocktail of bravado and sensitivity.
It’d be easy to throw in a Mike Skinner comparison- many would, but we know better. This is a distinctly stand alone LP.
“Bare drama here, no actors, ’cause talent without grind would die on X Factor”.
Stand Out Tracks: Melt, Northern Line, Deleted Scenes, Murkish Delights,
Routes is out now via itunes