There's a lot you could say about Future Chaos - odd, weird, analogue, retro yet brimming over with modernity - but the simple truth is, this album is a platinum-plated rarity in this day and age: a blinding set of songs, built up into an album you can play from start to finish without having to keep skipping forward. All killer, and no filler, if you will. I'd given up on being able to leave an album playing like I used to, but Bomb the Bass have delivered. Mind you, they've had fourteen years, so they've had time to finess the quality controls!
With the list of collaborators taking in Fujiya & Miyagi, Mark Lanegan, former APE man Paul Conboy, Jon Spencer and Toob, Future Chaos could have been a mish-mashed mess, but Simenon lets his killer producer's ear do the working, pulling everything together into nine tracks that sit pretty like a dream.
Where Clear was a love letter to dub, hip hop and soul, Future Chaos is decidely - and refreshingly - European in feel; where Bomb the Bass were once like a soundsystem, now they're more a system of sound, somehow making sense of Simenon's eclectic passions. Apparently he - along with chief collaborator Paul Conboy - pretty much fashioned the entire album on a Moog - not that you'd ever really know, because the production is bold yet always understated; clever and catchy without ever getting carried away into time killing extended dance workouts.
There's shimmers of dub (the gorgeous Hold Me Up), beats that kick like a mule (the deceptively catchy, yet dark as hell So Special), pop quirks (Butterfingers), subtle patches of ambient (No Bones) and obvious over (and under) tones of Simenon's dance past (Fuzzbox and Burn the Bunker); yet nothing is indulgent, and no one thing ever overshadows the songs.
Apparently the live shows are just as blistering, if the recent Big Chill reviews are anything to go by - so I'd say, with the charts awash with bland bands in black levi's and mockney tones, welcome back Mr Simenon, it was worth the wait!
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