How’s the hype around that new Daft Punk album treating you? Well, if you’re hanging out for something Daft Punk-ish then this, the self-titled debut album from Wolverhampton duo Letherette should tick enough of a box.
The debt to Daft Punk is obvious and acknowledged – but for the most part I found myself thinking of Letherette as a less jokey/hokey version of Ratatat. You know how Ratatat had some good ideas but then they’ll just colour over the lines on purpose to cover up for the times when you might have noticed them colouring over the lines not on purpose earlier?
Letherette doesn’t do that. Instead you’re plunged into a world where hip-hop and house shake hands with a dark electro pulse, the sort that happens when ambient music is jumpstarted with party pills.
Rougher edges than Bonobo and Flying Lotus – which is where that reminder of Ratatat comes in – this is still not a million miles from that slick late-night soul sound, albeit, this time with colourful guitar fills, a party-ready Aphex Twin – with twists and dips and dives still, but hooks also. An Aphex Twin raised on Prince’s earliest records.
Maybe it’s Letherette’s curse that in a month everyone will be finding out whether it was worth the wait for Daft Punk and this could be the forgotten curtain-raiser – but given this duo has been crafting this album for close to 10 years now I like to think it’ll still hold up; still pick up an audience bit by bit. They deserve it. There’s some classy stuff here, some really cool ideas – and it’s an interesting blurring of aspects of the cheese associated with the EDM scene and the cool, detached iconic aspects of that sacred meeting place where deep, dark house and instrumental hip-hop lurk around midnight.