As homage to late-'80s era house music, Kikumoto Allstars’ debut record provides an effectively sweaty slice of dance-floor goodness.
Cam Farrar of Australia is the producer behind Kikumoto Allstars. As a debut album, House Music provides a cool collection of beats and revisionist grooves. Farrar is in full command of the tables and switches, edging out solid grooves that should have crowds moving long into the summer night.
Farrar avoids pretension by keeping his arrangements relatively straightforward. There’s no desperate tinkering and no desire to divert from the acid bass grooves that he keeps pumping throughout House Music. There are sparse buzzes of sound and the odd touch of male or female vocals, but this is pretty basic stuff.
But this is music for the floor and the solid grooves and acid house vibes will most certainly keep people hopping.
That’s not to say that Farrar has no interest in melody or song construction, as “DCO” gracefully reveals. Here he tinkers with a swelling wall of synth and lets it upsurge with unrehearsed spirit. The beat hugs the lower registry tightly while Farrar nudges the rest of the track along with appropriate starts and stops.
“Last Train to Chi-Town” uses a similar foundation. Farrar is again concerned with the melody of the track, slowing things down for what almost becomes a deep mood piece.
There’s an awful lot of “jacking” going on, of course, as one would expect with a throwback acid house album. “I’ll Make You Jack” surges with a demanding male vocal and a crisp beat, while “Can’t Stop the House” features an equally-demanding female vocalist (Fi-B Haven) and thick bass. “I pledge allegiance to the house sound,” she says.
The slow, blue groove of “Warehouse Days” is probably my favourite cut. It slides and slinks along with Farrar’s traditional propulsive hi-hat beat and Fi-B Haven’s breathy vocals. It’s a nice little chill-out track.
Overall, Kikumoto Allstars’ House Music will supply ample grooves for all-night dance floors. Farrar is in command of his beats and sounds, producing a succinct throwback to acid house. In terms of crossover appeal, however, the cyclic beats and minimalistic arrangements will probably do little to win over those who aren’t already fans of retro house.