R&B sampled house and disco has been a well-documented phenomenon these past couple of years, but you would be hard pressed to find another producer (or two in this case), that imbue their tracks with such a strong sense of care-free fun and infectious youthful exuberance as Richard Roberts and Andy Harber, the duo that make up Wolverhampton-based Letherette. Harber is said to have grown up on a diet of MC Hammer and Aphex Twin, honing his ear for a melody by car singalongs to The Beatles as a kid whilst Roberts, conversely, devoured his father’s soul record collection. They furthered their musical pedigree by attending a college which counted Actress and Alexander Nut as its then-students. Strains of all of these disparate influences from the duo’s childhood do indeed ring true in their debut self-titled album for Ninja Tune.
In their Bonafide Beats offering, the boys from Wolverhampton start with one of their own cuts Gas Stations & Restaurants, before leading us down a rabbit hole of sparse electronica, lush r&b and hip-hop. Ticking off classic slabs from Pete Rock (Half Man Half Amazing) and Quasimoto (Bad Character), there are nods to the silky soul of Dâm-Funk (One Less Day), beguiling IDM of Autechre (Zeiss Contarex) and twisted pop of Inc. (5 Days). As expected from the tracklist, it’s a thrillingly wild journey of different textures, sonics and soundscapes that seamlessly melt into one another, with even a brief whiff of classical piano thrown in for good measure. Letherette’s After Dawn Remix EP is out now on Ninja Tune.
Letherette – Gas Stations & Restaurants
Pete Rock – Half Man Half Amazing (Feat Method Man)
Strange U – Scarlet Jungle Dirty
Autechre – Zeiss Contarex
Quasimoto – Bad Character
Voodoo Love – The Exotic Sounds Of Martin Denny
Sir Froderick – Things I Do
Dam Funk – One Less Day
Bibio – You
Willlits And Sakamoto – Abandoned Silence
Letherette – Hard Martha
Inc – 5 Days
Labradford – David