“ Artist: Lemon Jelly / Genre: Dance & Electronic „
If you're wondering what the title of this review has to do with Lemon Jelly KY, then maybe if I told you that Lemon Jelly had an album entitled "Lost Horizons", you'd make a bit more sense of it. This review is designed to cover the KY album, although I hope to write a review for Lost Horizons at a later date. Ky is actually a compilation of three Lemon Jelly EP's, taking sample tracks from each. Firstly lets look at the design (since this is a real unique charm with Lemon Jelly CD covers), the CD cover has a somewhat arty appearance and is best described as a red, fading to yellow background (from top to bottom) with circles, globules and rings of colour, including green, yellow, pink, red, purple and white. Ok, so we've decided that it looks nice but what about the music? (please note that only selected tracks have been reviewed here, based on their merits). Well the first track is called "In The Bath" and comes across to me as a very relaxing track (as with a lot of Lemon Jelly music). A wonderful effect is used from the outset to sound like drops of water, which is slowly upstaged by a small beat and a basic tune. The track is clever in the fact that it slowly builds up to a steady rhythm, yet has stop and start points to keep your attention. The sounds and tune compliment each other along with sparing use of vocals which all fits perfectly in what is one of my favourite tracks on the CD (and thats saying something). The second EP (Yellow EP) kicks off with a track entitled "King Raam". This track starts off with a gentle and seemingly child-like lullaby-like tune, which is somehow very pleasing to listen to. This is quickly interjected with speech, concerning King Raam, who is described as great, loving, kind, strong and courageous. The track then comes back with a variant of the basic tune and adds in another, less rhythmic tune on top which forms some truly remarkable music. The beat also steadily builds, but still keeps the gentle charm which gives this track a prominent "fairy tale" feel to it. Completely different tunes and beats, still on the same rhythmic level and within the same style also interject at various intervals to offer variety and depth to the track. This track also has a habit of knocking down beats that it has built up, only to rebuild them again with a new tune to compliment. This continually altering style really makes this a memorable tracks and definately one of the top three on this album. The final track of the Yellow EP is entitled "Homage to Patagonia". This track consistently holds a very atmospheric and travelling feel to it. The beginning of the track has a tendancy to sound rather like "lift" or "shopping mall" music, but stick with it and listen deeper - this track has a lot to offer. At the start, a somewhat prominent beat kicks in. This then dies down to break into a calmer and soothing tune with a steady beat and some excellent use of percussion to compliment. The beat then seems to continually build itself up to a louder and more exciting section of the track, only to lose itself again, with a new tune or section of the track, with the basic and percussion staying consistent. This track is truly unique and really stands out among others on this CD. There are sections which seem to sound like some sort of african guitar, while other parts of the track involve a sort of "clapping" sound. The tune also varies to suit the music and tune, but still inkeeping with the original beat and feel of the track. Various tunes are returned to at suitable times, to keep the whole track flowing and moving with an outstanding variety of truly inspiring music. After about 5 and a half minutes, the track climaxes at an exciting beat, only to fall silent and slip into a completely different section, with a sort of marching beat, smothered with an excellent vo aclistic tune. Other elements are also then brought back (including the percussion) in order to push the track into its final stages, bringing back the fast and prominent beat. The vocalistic element changes into an almost surreal sound as it is mixed with an almost electronic sound. My only objection with this track is the ending, which switches from the track in full flow to a single bass guitar string, just about murmuring the basic tune. It certainly gives a very different sound to the track, but doesnt seem to be a fitting end to an almost spectacular track. The first track of the final EP (Midnight EP) is entitled "Page One". This track starts with a sci-fi type sound. This is slowly taken over by a subtle beat that periodically expresses itself over a growing and progressing tune. This tune develops itself by introducing an "organ" type sound over its final chords. This track is actually outstanding. It builds up with a very pleasing and enjoyable tune. This is a background for a speech which encourages the listener to imagine the very beginning of time, when nothing existed. Once the speech finishes, the beat seems to sound as if it has stopped being opressed and unleashes itself with a burst of tune in an amazing display of sound which can really help you hit the "tingle factor". All sorts of styles are incorporated, from piano to synthesizer style of sound and effect. It all fits and works together perfectly and makes for a very enjoyable and entertaining track. This is actually my favourite track on the entire CD. The beat remains constant as the tune florishes and slowly dies away, only to come back stronger, better and more exciting then before. There are variations throughout the track which seem to sound almost like music from an exciting sci-fi film. To me, THIS track really represents the magic that Lemon Jelly are capable of! So I've reviewed several of the tracks on the Ky album. It has to be sa id that these were my favourite tracks on there. Others, such as "Nervous Tension" don't really seem to cut it for me as they don't seem to stand apart from other tracks and can tend to sound somewhat dull. The music of Lemon Jelly is very original and groundbreaking. They have spent much time looking at various styles and techniques and spent ages trying out such methods, just to see what they can fit together to make the brilliant tracks that are on this CD. Lemon Jelly is not one of those groups that has simply strolled along to weave itself into the world of music in an insignificant and unnoticable way. They has actually come along and shown us all that music can still push new boundaries. thats not to say that everyone will hail Lemon Jelly music as the best they've heard, of course. In fairness, Lemon Jelly is a very contemporary style of music that simply does not suit all tastes. Infact, it is rather an acquired taste and it is for this reason, in part that I have not awarded it a top rating (although I was more tempted to do so then a woman on a diet would be to tuck into a Thorntons box of chocolates). My advice, if you haven't yet experienced the world of Lemon Jelly is to go and listen to their music. Even if it means buying a CD, only to refund it if you're not impressed, do it. This music is not to be ignored!
Anonymous dance bands with a sense of humour aren't exactly ten-a-penny these days, which makes the presence of Lemon Jelly a refreshing change to all the bland Euro-trance that is doing the rounds at the moment. Known for their sense of fun and wackiness, the London duo's first 'album' was actually a collection of their three three-track EP's that were released in the late 1990's. Combining a myriad of samples, it's best to think of them as The Avalanches, but even more laid-back... The first notable thing about the Lemon Jelly.ky album is its packaging. Psychadelic and very arty, it's obviously had a lot of thought put into it, and makes for a change from the run of the mill sleeves that other bands knock up. The opener is the typically quirky 'In The Bath'. Revolving around a spoken-word sample of the phrase 'what do you do in the bath?', it was recently used on the 'Hello Moto' Motorola adverts. Taking excerpts from the gorgeously named 'Tahitian Sunset', it is fantastically mellow and sets the tone for a bizarre journey through the surreal and comedy work of Londoners Fred Deakin and Nick Franglen... We go into Avalanches territory with second tune 'Nervous Tension' which samples what sounds like a 1950's infomercial about how to get a good night's sleep. Despite appearing like a bizarre idea on the surface, it actually works within the context of the song, and stands up well to repeated listening. It also has disconcertingly creepy piano sequence too, which complements the ever so slightly disconcerting scientific reasoning that the sleep-makers are trying to convey. It's a Geography/Biology lesson up next with 'A Tune For Jack' which introduces us to sea-elephants in Patagonia (!). It then turns into to one of the tune highlights of the album, with a lush Latino instrumental epic that isn't as sample heavy as some of the other tracks. Best described as modern sounding retro, it's another one that you may remember from an advert, as a portion of it was used in the 'Witch Hazel' adverts (you know, the one with 'Paper Bag' Paula Price et al). Fortunately, this is one instance where a bad ad can't numb the effects of a good song. The second trio of songs are taken from the band's 'The Yellow EP' and commence with 'His Majesty King Raam', the most loving and kind King ever. This is basically a direct soundalike of a children's story tape with it's swirling atmospheric orchestration and whimsical adjective-heavy plot. It does concern me that half-way through I get the image of incidental music from 'Cold Feet', but it's still a fine tune. Where as 'Nervous Tension' told us how to get a good night's sleep, 'The Staunton Lick' tells us how to play guitar. Once catchy riff later and we are taken on an aural journey which oozes the imagery of a lazy summer's day. We go back to the South American plains with 'Homage To Patagonia', which weaves another interesting and deep soundscape. Containing fewer samples than some of the others, it leads into the first track from the band's 'Midnight EP'. 'Kneal Before Your God' starts off with some scary animal noises and bongoes, before launching into something of a more downbeat track. However, this subtle change in direction makes for a more rounded sound, and even includes a bit of scratching. The penultimate track is the epic 'Page One', which like the previous track takes a bit of time to get into its stride. Sounding a little bit like a stripped down 4Hero at the start, it has an interesting commentary about people's ability to live with no worldy possessions. A bit history-lecturish, it nonetheless manages to work in the context of the album. The album is wrapped up with 'Come', a laid-back affair, which is arguably the most minimalist sounding track on a very bare album. Perhaps a little overlong, it nonetheless brings this collection to a suitable fitting positive end. Despite being only 9 tracks long, each song is almost like a mini-album in its self, and not one of these is shorter than 5 minutes. Fantastically original, they have created a totally unique sound. However, some purists may find the whole package a bit too random and unorthdox, and may perhaps think that there isn't much substance behind their sound. The band and this album in particular are often classed as chill-out, although the tempo's are probably too variable for that to be an accurate label. Instead, it's best to view the album in a category of its own and with no definable parameters. The first time you hear the album, you really have no idea as to what's round the corner... If you are a fan of music with a quirky twist, than this album is essential. Fragmented and sparse in places, it still manages to remain interesting and surprising after every listen. However, one word of warning is that it is very tricky to track down, although some of the larger HMV's usually have copies available. Buy this, and you won't be disappointed...
They have already received a lot of good reviews on their first album and the new single (Space Walk/Return To Patagonia) and this new album is of no difference at all, it is even better. The album has a unique mixture of different moods and styles that make it difficult to classify them under specific genre but mainly you can say that they are no ordinary chill-out act in a very eccentric style. Most of the songs are inspired by either daily life simple things like in ?Nice Weather for Ducks? (based on children's nursery rhyme), or important history events like in ?Space Walk? (Inspired by the Apollo space missions). The full album track listing is: 1. Elements: very cheerful and relaxing with very unusual instruments mixture. 2. Space Walk: A very relaxing and energizing mix of jazz and ambient, it is definitely unique dance music style. Listening to Space Walk is like the café world ambience, where you can relax and drift into your thoughts with a smile while thinking. An excellent background music in a dinner party or even a big gathering, it encourages people to talk and adds a happy ambience to the party. 3. Ramblin? Man: Unique mixture between modern jazzy tunes with Oriental touch the mixture is very moving and groovy. 4. Return To Patagonia: It is fast, energetic and also relaxing, it is the epic tune of all of songs in this album. It is a unique blend of Jazz, trance and ambient. The mix of music and vocal can transform your mood from quiet and calm to energetic in a chilled out feeling, it can be a little bit alerting as well, it also encourages the feeling of moving. It can be excellent background music in a very modern pub. 5. Nice Weather For Ducks: the start of this song is like listening to a gramophone, it starts with ?All the ducks are swimming in the water? then the voice starts getting clearer (it is based on a children's nursery rhyme). Followed by the beautiful jazzy upbe at tunes that encourage to smile in a rainy day. The tune is a little bit similar to the shows musical. 6. Experiment Number Six: quirky, oddball cool jazz tune, transfers your mood instantly. Very clever in diverting your attention from what you are doing at the moment the music is on. 7. Closer: very relaxing refreshing tune, you can call it country-funk shakedown, very cheerful. 8. The curse of Ka?Zar: the tune is very moving and inspiring, the beats remind with the good time in a modern bar trying to chat up someone you like. Often this kind of tongue-in-cheek chill out music can be boring and or sickly and overbearing, but Lost Horizons is anything but tedious, it is simply bristles with shimmering, sunny instrumentation. This CD is for lively people with a sense of humour who are prepared to try something different. The tracks are long and some of them work better just as background music but in general it is very relaxing. It is arty, melancholic and gentle.
I first discovered British duo Nick Franglen and Fred Deakin somewhere off the back streets in Camden, London while searching for a place to rest my weary head at 4 a.m. As my bleary eyes and ears began to focus on the music that was playing ("In The Bath"), I was immediately taken back to my favourite French DJs, the illustrious Jean-Benoit Dunckel and Nicolas Godin from Air, whose combination of loungue pop grooves and downtempo beats on "Moon Safari" nearly brought me to an aural explosion. Needless to say, I rushed to the DJ at the lounge and shook him until he finally told me that it was "The Bath EP" by Lemon Jelly. Thus began my quest for Lemon Jelly music and their contemporaries. I was not award that Nick had programmed for the Spice Girls, All Saints and Primal Scream, nor that Fred had been behind Old Street's Wheel of Destiny. When I saw that the combination EP "Lemonjelly.ky", despite owning the EPs that it consists of, I bought it, if only to have the pyschodelic covering that claims no ownership, but deep down you know and feel like Franglen and Deakin have spun this out in their very own living rooms. As mentioned above, the CD "Lemonjelly.ky" is a combination of the two EPs released earlier - "The Bath EP" and "The Yellow EP", all put together by Impotent Fury/XL Recordings. They even brazenly suggest by an obvious sticker on the front cover that "If you own these two EPs, there is no reason to buy this album." But for the masses who probably would never have heard of Lemon Jelly, the combination of their two excellent EPs provides a perfectly balanced album which pleases even the most sceptic of ears, from the downbeat dancers to the indie community. Inside the CD contains some of the most whacky yet soothingly mixed downtempo beats that I have ever heard. Whilst reminscient of so many other styles around this era, the hype surrounding the release of this album is justified. The album is full of sugary beats and "fizzy lifting drinks" that is bound to leave with a cocktail aftertaste that tickles the sense and delights at the same time. I must admit that "Bath" is my favourite EP, and I am not ashamed of this. Lemonjelly.ky starts with "In The Bath", a sleekish and slinkly looping ambient mix which cascades into a cloudy dream of soothing sounds. It does not remain like this, as it moves into the acoustic guitar hook and of course, the lovely British accent asking you, coincidentally, "What do you do, in the bath?" The bright and breezy tunes continue with "Nervous Tension," which is equally as glossy and orchestrated to perfection. It is this sort of tune that you can picture trendy Londoners putting their feet up with the pillow-soft beats in the background. "A Tune For Jack", an almost ridiculous song with Patagonian Sea Elephants making an appearance. When I first heard "His Majesty King Raam", I thought of Velvet Underground's "Sunday Morning". It is epic lounge music that is as chilled out as they come. "The Staunton Lick" steals an instruction manual from acoustic guitar lessons, and is a totally uplifting tune that somehow reminded me of Orbital's "Waving, Not Drowning". The icly cool mamba of "Homage to Patagonia", the meditating garage piano-packed mix of "Page One" to the finality of "Come", make "Lemonjelly.ky" shine in every possible way. From the claustrophobic organs moving to the samba territory, its spicy guitar licks and unformulaic nature pulls it away from Air, and delivers it in a new package. It is the blending of so many styles and homages to bands that makes "Lemonjelly.ky" such a perfect album. From New Order to Mr. Scruff to The Orb, the album sparkles in all the right places. It is not hard to become hooked on Franglen and Deakin's blend of subtle, looping beats that seems to transcend all imagination and sounds like a relaxation tape injected with post-trip-hop era sounds. The jaunty beats of acoustic pleasantries such as "The Staunton Lick", the epics "His Majesty King Raam" and "Come", to the simply brilliant "In The Bath", there is something here for everyone to enjoy and to stare at the lava lamp to. Without a doubt, "Lemonjelly.ky" is one of the best purchases I've made all year. For an album that was recorded over three years, the freshness and bleedingly trendiness of this album comes together surprisingly. You will not find nine better tracks than this. [Artist website: http://www.lemonjelly.ky]
"What do you do, in the bath?"and so opens the Lemon Jelly album (or rather collection of E.P.s), K.Y.Jelly accompanied by a laid back swizzle of a drumbeat and soaring high notes. These people are silly; these people use samples like we would use toilet paper (luxury toilet paper, with double thickness and a nice perfume to boot) they really are very silly indeed. The first tune on the album, In the Bath; let us count the ways "in the bath" can be scratched, spinned, sampled, speed up, slowed down..oh no, let's not bother. A happy melange of country guitars (sounds like all your friends that ever thought they could play the guitar, but really couldn't), salsa beats, drum n bass, angel's voices, violins, percussion and an easy piano bass line. Nervous Tension: "Rrrready?" Croaks a froggish voice over a slow lounge paced highhats. "Rrrready", comes the reply. A little lesson in how to avoid the disorder of the title: "You will carefully plan your course through life. You will think about your plan often...Think with pleasure of the satisfaction you will feel as the plan becomes reality...You will give your mind and body the rest they need to restore energy. Very shortly, you will no longer need to listen to my voice. You will absorb and understand the suggestions I have given you, and you will learn to give them to yourself." The piano is light, a fireside demeanor, reminiscent of get togethers at the Cunnighhams for Christmas time (the use of Jazz is a 10 minute interlude at a summer festival, rather than a deep, Blue Note cafe). Find a nice comfy armchair, settle back and listen to the lyrics of this tune; Nervous Tension is undoubtably not nervous or tense at all. A tune for Jack: Can't really get my head round the opening sample about the Patagonian Sea Elephant and his down-turned snout of nearly eighteen feet long. Leading into a tinkly salsa beat perc ussion free for all and loungesque piano notes (you can see the pianist grinning cheesily, it's just so clear). Alternative samples of a child singing "Boom Bem Be" (or something similar), the introductory TV presenter stating "and a big felah too", and a chorus of desperate crickets trying to get themselves heard. Definitely my favorite on the album, sweeter than Jelly Babies, but with the same texture. His Majesty King Raam: A Velvety 'Sunday Morning' start, opening on a grand green valley, surrounded by grazing sheep, all looking expectedly at the setting sun. His Majesty, King Raam, is the greatest king who has ever lived (so we are informed) as a regal gong sounds his presence into swirling brass low notes and soaring violins. Lounge keyboard takes over (transatlantic cruise style), with the tinny beats, then progressing into an easy listening parade, and back to the floating violins. The Staunton Lick: This is the one for all those friends that thought that they could play the guitar, but..."This is basic plucking, or, the Staunton Lick." The country guitar leads the 'chord of C' into a bass accompaniment, and a lightly strummed acoustic guitar on top (sounds a bit like a bad intro into a Phil Collins song). Is that a lute I hear? Taking the main theme and running with it. Trumpets bring the tune back down, with grace, and in sparkling keyboard company, the amateur strumming continues to end - This is line dancing while wearing a fairy outfit and a fake moustache. Homage To Patagonia: Crash, bang into the sixth song; with a deep base and Latin temperaments abound, the keyboard runs a slow Bondesque scale as the beat tries to run away. Low drums, beats of all descriptions, with a whinging sitar and scraper board guitar effects turn around and around the themed tune. A Voodoo voice returns us to the simplicity of the keyboard before the tune launches again into anarchy. Silence. And swirling sampled voices take us back up to the heady sitarred heights, before descending one more time into a barrage of beats, ending on a final deathly base note . Kneel Before Your God: Open into emphasised spooky chords, punctuated by tribal drums, silence and tingling bells. The guitar and an industrial percussion run a sugar filled theme with floating flutes and a demonically laughing sample (scratched to pieces). A technoid mist, with hip hop tributes; even with its regular beats, it manages to create a slow motion occurrence (this one has a slight Bukem/Logical Progression thing going). Page One: Soft, upwardly entwining cyber notes into an old school breakbeat (with the added clapping of hands), slowly luring you into a jazz beat. Then enters the violin,which reiterates the Musical theme of the intros hand claps (kinda like Singing In the Rain with bass). Another monologue, this time about how to imagine the beginning of everything: "Imagine, If you can, what it is like to have no possessions at all. Nothing. Very few people are able to imagine such a thing, to have nothing at all. Well let us, you and I, try to imagine something 100 times harder, not just to have nothing at all, but when there was nothing at all. The very beginning of time. The dawn of history. Page one. Nothing at all..." Two thirds of the way through the song, the beats accelerate into a regular running pace, the piano following in descending flows of scales.The piece finishes with the synthesized bass notes that always seem to denote 'The End'. Come: An RnB intro into a sliding base and an enchanting female voice chanting "Come". That country guitar is back again, this time playing between the keyboard and the beats. The harmonica then lilts a free tune within the same space - leading us once again to the lounge keyboard, then back to the guitar. Probably the most mainstream song on the album (also the best background tune for a bit of hanky panky), an enchantingly soft melodious exit for the Lemon Jelly songsters. This album is incomparable: When I first heard it, I was reminded of the excitement I felt upon hearing Moloko's first album - Do You Like My Tight Sweater, but it's absolutely nothing like that, not even remotely. Probably the only comparison I can make is to Fila Brazilia, but even then I'm way off mark. Nearly all the samples have a '50's TV theme that runs rabidly through the album, accompanied by a frisky sense of humor and a twist of talented musicians. This is enlighteningly light, free, loungey and intelligent elevator music with a husky, smokey voice. Enjoy.
Lemonjelly.ky is an album containing some of Lemonjelly's older tracks, all thrown together to form a kind of 'best of' CD. Thus if you already own previous albums, you'll want to make sure that you don't already own all of the tracks on this disc. Lemonjelly are renowned for their unbeatable and infallable mix of indie and electronic music, and the result is a discfull of great-sounding chillout music which also appeals to some of the electro-junkies. I'm truly in love with this album, and took a leap of faith when I bought it having only heard one track: The Staunton Lick. As it turns out, it was worth it. The tracks on this disc are something special: so rare is it to find a group who can so consitantly put out great track after great track, all with their own unique charm, especially in this genre where lyrics are often nothing and sound is everything. A little like Daft Punk or Fatboy Slim meets The Crocketts and Hefner. A definite must-have if you like these genres, or just need something to chill out to!