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A Magazine for Sheffield

Grenier Meets Archie Pelago

On the occasions that jazz and electronica meet, they’re usually faced with a fine line to tread between enthralling innovation and meandering over-indulgence. Perhaps more so than many other genres, there’s a certain onus on the artist to hone the many ideas swirling round in their head into a cohesive end product. If only one over-extended sax solo slips through the quality control net then you’ll find yourself sliding rapidly from the record bags of Moodymann and Theo Parrish and into the soundtrack of an advert for Spanish beer in which no-one wears any shoes.

For the most part, the coalition of Brooklyn trio Archie Pelago and West Coast producer Dean Grenier manages to find a relatively solid middle ground between the two. The tracks on Grenier Meets Archie Pelago are refined enough to dispell most images of juggling limes to impress a bronzed beauty on the Costa Brava, but by the end of the record it’s hard not to wish that they’d squeezed the sour fruits into their own eyes before snatching a bottle of tequila and running off into the sea, as there’s an underlying lack of any kind of bold personality throughout.

While the likes of the junglist ‘Classon’ and the rumbling ‘Two If By Sea’ demonstrate that the group certainly aren’t devoid of either imagination or musical skill, there are too few flashes of the former trait over the course of this somewhat lengthy outing and it rarely edges beyond the territory of amicable Bonobo offcuts. Although if you were seeking an extra twist of excitement to accompany it, you could always squeeze some limes into your eyes and run into the sea. Barefoot, of course.