Oriol OriolNight And Day
The iced lemon drink is melting in your hands, as you push your sunglasses to the end of your nose, so that you can get a better look at the attractive waiting staff. The marijuana is burning slowly, leaving a smell of wild grass in the street that sticks to the sparse hair of the old lady sitting at the next table. Everyone around is smiling at you. Everything flows in the summer. Everything moves more slowly. Everything is beautiful. Even the farts of your ancient German shepherd smell good. Now is the ideal time to stuff yourself with groove till you burst; it’s the moment to suck hard on the juices of funk as if they were the head of a giant prawn from Palamós that you had between your teeth.
The timing is perfect. Oriol has put this album out in the middle of a heat wave for some reason. Surely because he knows that his playful electronic and rhythms for convertibles fit the demands of summer like one of those tight little swimsuits fits between the legs of Didier Drogba. The work of this musician born in Barcelona who has been living in the UK forever is hedonism for lazy August afternoons. He has taken the electronic funk that’s been around forever, done a little body work on it, and forged a really fresh discourse, even if it is retro from the first track to the last. People of a certain age (which includes me) will be taken back to the 90s and recognise the shadow of Jake Slazenger right away, one of the funkier aliases of Mike Paradinas. The legacy of Mr. Mu’s alter ego is spread all over the album, like butter on toast, giving “Night And Day” an even more accentuated cult component.
The formula is easy to understand, but since Slazenger I still haven’t heard anybody who has been able to get so much out of a recipe book with such basic ingredients. Basses that reproduce themselves in jumping slaps, 80s synthesisers seeking out easy melodies, softened electro rhythms, bpms to move your head and not your feet. It’s impossible to highlight songs separately, because Oriol faithfully follows the same instruction manual with all of them. However, where others would be up to their ankles in a cow pat, this guy gets off scot-free, reinterpreting a discourse that seemed to have been lost in the immensity of the 90s, but which (thank God) is back - reinforced, refreshed, renewed. “Night and Day” seems like a 45-minute song, it is a summer state of mind -a tropical one- that spreads through the tracklist like a delicious case of herpes. It rests slightly on Detroit techno, on jazz, on electronic soul, and it manages to create a cool gazpacho that you drink down in one gulp from the first to the last cut. In any case, the album isn’t an ode to excess just for its own sake. In fact, the songbook is splashed with a candid nostalgia, it invites you to recreate artificial paradises while you close your eyes; it puts you into a sort of sweet coma that is perfect for the beach. It’s very easy: you slather yourself with sunscreen, lie down on your towel, put this on your iPod, and let the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse come for you. Not even God would move you from that spot.
“Coconut Coast” for example, has that touch of looking inside –the synthesisers and funk blend into a wonderful love song that you dance to with tears in your eyes—something that “Night and Day” also has, a tremendous cut where nervous breakbeats, space sounds, overloaded backgrounds and voice samples form a highly appealing black nostalgic brew. In fact, the second part of the album is where perhaps you see this delicious summer melancholy in the key of funk most clearly, making this album one of the most entertaining toys of 2010. Oriol is no joke in the studio. The choice of effects, the construction of the songs, the incredible keyboards, the atmospheric component, his nods to the 90s: all of the elements are arranged with an amazing elegance and intelligence. We could call him the new Herbie Hancock, without a doubt, but I prefer to call him the new Jake Slazenger. There is a reason why Paradinas has brought him to his planet. Planet Mu is a lot of Mu. Óscar Broc
Oriol - NIght & Day