Finding yourself confronted with the linguistic barrier that is ‘Costa
Blanca’ track-list can be extremely off-putting. French composer
Ensemble’s 2011 tour de force,
‘Excerpts’, for example, suffered heavily at the hands of its own
complexity because it seemed to take the combination of languages a
little too seriously. ‘Costa Blanca’
may well be a similar linguistic snake pit (at least for the ignorant of
us), but one listen to ‘Rosas’’s improv-imitating layers of funk,
or the snake-charming interlude of ‘Barrio Chino’, and you know this
is an album that doesn’t suffer from seriousness.
Time and time again The Limiñanas’ desire to get in your head – most often in the form of some perilously catchy bass lines works to neutralise the duo’sLimiñanas
alienating preoccupation with fusing languages and conflicting musical influences by, simply, making them sound fun.Limiñanas
At the top of the stairs is a non-descript room that feels more like the ever-changing council flats that the station used to call home than the beating heart of hipster East London. Limiñanas
From a studio next door comes the muffled sound of a track being mixed: a low-level thump throbs along the floorboards,
sporadically stopping and restarting; every now and then, the door cracks ajar just enough for the rest of the tune above it to jump out.
It’s the only remarkable thing about the entire scene, and that detail makes Rinse’s message clear: Limiñanas
like so many pioneering musical forces before them, their only
concern is for the music, maaan – and the pop-star
accoutrements of style and champagne, commercial adoration and Scrooge McDuck swimming pools can go hang.
All of which makes Rinse’s most successful charge, Kathleen Anne Brien – known to everyone but her
mum as Katy B – such a curious prospect. Tonight, fresh from the adjacent session and dressed in jeans, printed
sweater and some high-tops, she cuts a figure in keeping with her employers’ aesthetic. But alongside that, Brien
is also a bona fide pop star, with top-ten singles, a face that gets stopped in the street and a performance CVLimiñanas
that lists Radio 1’s Big Weekend and countless national TV slots.
A pop svengali’s dream, she’s happy singing over other people’s songs, collaborating with behindthe-scenes songwriters, Limiñanas
coming up with killer pop hooks and doing it all in front of screaming 14-yearolds. Limiñanas
Not for Brien the noble struggle against the artistically corrupt mainstreamLimiñanas,
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