25 May 2019
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Krispy & The Pooch - EP Review: Something Strange for Change

25 Feb 2019 // A review by Steve Shyu

A music-production duo from Aotearoa but based in Berlin? Which one is Krispy, and which is the Pooch? Is it really their debut EP? What does it sound like?

Luckily, that last question I could answer.

The lead tune kicks off with Where’s My Phone?, heavily soaked in 70’s vibes, reminiscent of Parliament particularly in the pop-soul vocals and cheeky, jazzed-up guitar shuffles. Glorious, uplifting energy is poured with bombastic keyboards leading into choruses, and while the bassline doesn’t play around much, much of the fun is in the exchange between the guitar and sampled dial tones and claps. The embellishment with telephonic sound effects (including the blips you used to hear on speakers when a text message is being received on old brick phones), gives a whimsical nostalgic value, but also puts the listener in the spotlight of the subject matter. Describing a short story of overly-possessive partners, awkward social nuances and trust, matched with old-school grooves, this is like a 70’s funk tune for the modern day.

Better is evenly-paced, with snares and off-beat keyboards holding each other steady. Likewise, the dancey basslines counter the smooth, soul vocals, making for a bittersweet juxtaposition between a light, upbeat groove with moody, contemplative lyrics. Gradual swells of saxophone notes adds a spaced-out feel, and when matched with light keyboard, the textures feel like a soundtrack to daydream to. Capped off with a fun, and almost-obligatory saxophone solo at the very end, fading the daydream back to the present.

Noticeably more electronic than other tracks of the EP, this one is held steady right the way through with a pulsing four-four rhythm courtesy of the bass section. The hypnotic quality of the beat and the synthesised keys is amplified by the distant, filtered vocals, The mathematical hop of the bass guitar and the summery dub-sound of the keyboards makes this one musically akin to a blend of Kora and Fat Freddy’s Drop. No kidding, after just a couple of listens, I found myself humming the bassline whilst doing dishes. It’s strangely catchy!

Be sure to stop by this one if you (like myself) are in denial of summer’s inevitable end, and still want to bask in some light, flavoursome jams. Or, if you feel like something interesting, whimsical and fun for a change, then this EP is for you.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Krispy & The Pooch

New Zealand born duo Krispy & The Pooch have at last emerged from the grey and icy winter to warm our bodies with their energetic and expansive EP, Something Strange for Change. A blend of soothing neo-soul grooves, bone-rattling gutter funk and ear-worming electro, their new release is simultaneously a reflection of the boys' varied musical influences and a distinctly modern sound inspired by the hypnotic dance music of their new home in Berlin.

Kriston Batistic (aka Krispy) and Simon Townsend (aka The Pooch) met in the squalor of a decaying student house in a wealthy suburb in Auckland five years ago. To fend off the rats, the boys were forced to come together to produce wall-shaking old-school hip-hop. Having garnered radio play across New Zealand, the project came to an end when Krispy moved abroad to further himself as a musician in the renowned scene of Berlin. Like a real good boy, The Pooch was soon to follow.

In the short time that they've been reunited, the boys have already created their debut three-track release as Krispy & The Pooch. Something Strange for Change flows out in all directions yet still remains harmonious; the songs are underpinned by a lyrical exploration that effortlessly slips between tongue-in-cheek playfulness and honest tenderness. In Krispy, the lyricist and vocalist, every track is a showcase of his impressive vocal range - in yo-yoing from humble and soulful crooning in Better to a rasping rhythmic bravado spat out in Where's My Phone?

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Krispy & The Pooch

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