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  • Filed under: Review
  • 02/19/2013

Everyone No Time To Waste

Everyone is an appropriate moniker for a group—"supergroup" might be a stretch—that collects such a varied array of talent. First off, Night Slugs mainstays Jam City (a.k.a. Jack Latham) and L-Vis 1990 (born James Connolly) are credited here as V. L'Traques. The two producers are natural partners, as they're both concerned with sheen and deconstruction and the idea that everything from ghetto house to grime can be given new muscles. Everyone also consists of Joakim and Kindness (a.k.a. Joakim Bouaziz and Adam Bainbridge, respectively). At their best, both men are capable of making very unique and unclassifiable music as solo artists. Bouaziz has spent his exciting career merging cosmic disco-house with hooky, offbeat pop, and full-band experimental rock with glum, introspective dirges. Bainbridge, meanwhile, only released his debut LP, World You Need A Change Of Mind, last year. Although it was admittedly a mixed bag, it introduced him as a versatile composer, containing both a transformation of The Replacements' "Swingin' Party" and a breezy earworm of a single in "Cyan." Not only does No Time To Waste purport to cohere these personalities, but it also expects to do so within the space of one track.

Granted, the track does appear here as "Beatless," "Beats," and "Instrumental," giving DJs some options in addition to its original mix. The group bases that original mix on a box-beating, old-school house rhythm, which sounds like quintessential late-'80s Chicago or New York. What follows is a confessional track from that era—think productions by Jamie Principle or E.S.P.—with its pathos completely drained. Chalk this up in part to Bainbridge's listless croon. His tenor/baritone sometimes recalls Arthur Russell, and its inherent calmness has helped him ride summery disco on previous tracks like "Cyan," where it wasn't forced to take a starring role. On "No Time To Waste," however, Bainbridge is front and center. His thoroughly disinterested opening verses, which appear to be about an apparent betrayal, are delivered with a dissonant gravel, and there is nothing in his voice that suggests his lyrics' harshness ("How could you know the future/When you don't know reality?" he asks, stone-faced). This style of house absolutely demands a forceful vocalist.

V. L'Traques and Joakim don't exactly back Bainbridge up either, offering a discordant set of synths, piano, and organ, the elements messily moving around one another as his vocals recede into the background, eventually becoming a wordless, mumbled "nah nah nah." This shamble does, however, help the track mimic early house—it's a well-documented fact that many of its practitioners were just youths trying to write synth-pop songs on cheap gear, and were not trained musicians by any stretch. Without question, there is a similarly appealing looseness to the "No Time to Waste"'s construction. On the other hand, Jam City, L-Vis 1990, Joakim, and Kindness are all musicians with studios, record deals, and international fanbases. As such, it's surprising that such accomplished producers have created such an aimless piece.

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