You know that face you make when you’re recommending that a friend check out an artist that you are oh-so-serious about? That super intense “Dude, you haven’t heard this? I’m not f*cking around, you are going to LOVE this” face? I saw that face last year after telling House Shoes I hadn’t yet heard of a psychedelic electro-soul/hip-hop/jazz group called Electric Wire Hustle. I hold the utmost respect for that face, and so was more than willing to listen as he played me cuts off their album Every Waking Hour. “My favorite album of last year” were his words, if I remember correctly. High praise.
Shoes wasn’t joking. It’s hard to pin down their genre–on some tracks they sound damn near Bilal-ish (in the best possible way) over post-Dilla beats, and others feel more in the vein of old school soul revivalists like Adrian Younge. Throughout the album (first released overseas in 2009, re-released in 2010 here in the U.S.) they combine modern production techniques with old instruments and sounds, creating a vibe all their own.
Fortunately, no matter the style, the three New Zealanders make compelling music. I’ve played the full album dozens of times, and there’s nothing I skip. All thirteen tracks are stellar to my ears, but “They Don’t Want” seems to be the standout. If you give it a spin, you just may end up making a certain face when you recommend the trio to friends.