Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Young Montana? (Album review)

Young Montana? is Jon Pritchard from Coventry. Rising quickly from obscurity last year, he was tipped after his earlier releases as Mary Anne Hobbes' favourite unsigned artist of 2010, with a record contract on Alpha Pup Records following shortly after; his debut LP, Limerence, is out on Alpha now.

The record is for sure an interesting one; several reviewers have hailed his music as 'sound collage', which works as an apt description for me. The album features a bizzarre array of time signatures, with jarring samples shuddering and wobbling around chopped percussive rhythms, slipping in and out of sync without becoming discordinated: the resulting effect can be a little overwhelming. After the 15 seconds or so of silence that open 'In Finite' have been disturbed, the LP has very few, if any, silent periods; the music is really relentless, which is a risky approach, but one that's rendered succesful by the underlying grooviness that perpetrates the heart of Young Montana?'s music. Plus, the frequent use of erratic, wavering sub-bass rather than any militant 4/4 rhythm helps the LP retain a really mellow feel despite the uptempo, insistent nature of a lot of the tracks.

'Sacre Cool' is the listener's first experience of Young Montana?'s stylistic approach; it's a groovy, funk orientated jam, with jazzy vocal hooks. Despite utilising tons of distorted samples, the LP is mostly instrumental; 'Such Beats' is the exception, featuring the rapping of 'Stainless Steele' overdubbed with wailing samples, extreme vinyl-esque crackle and skittering cymbals. 'Dream Home' takes cutesy vocals and twists them into a mix of whoops, wooden clicks and snaps and heavy kicks; '' is a more soulful effort but is warped with glitches. 'Mynnd' exhibits Pritchard's more spacey capacity, but grounds the airy synth with tight snares, erratic hi-hats and steel pan melodies.

The tail end of the album fearlessly keeps up the erratic-ness, with 'Hot Heathrr' balancing bassy stabs against thudding rhythms, twinkling synth flourishes and trickling clicks. 'Legwrap' wouldn't be out of place on Pip Paine but the clanking rhythms and darting melodies are ruined by stupid, dubsteppy wobbles; 'Midnight Snacks' and 'Repetition' sounds like Hot Chip after one too many E-numbers, and closer 'Connct' is a surprisingly dance-floor friendly bassy number.

The LP is for sure a really inventive musical venture; the heavy emphasis on sampling simply adds range to Pritchards imaginative creativity rather than limiting his originality. Although sometimes the sheer overwhelming content of the noise is a little hard to deal with, the tracks on which he manages to balance his creativity more pragmatically are really succesful, glitchy electronic jams. Or, as he describes it on his facebook page, 'glitchy beats for feet'.

Young Montana? - Sacre Cool

1 comment:

  1. I used to like him before he went mainstream