The first impression made by “Raindrops EP” is that Kwesi Darko has, maybe consciously, stilled the hunger he seemed to have for the pole position of the (somewhat floating) wonky scene. His previous two vinyls, signed as Blue Daisy – “Space Ex” and “Strings Detached”, and both released on Black Acre in 2009– were quite simply absolutely mental, soaking up instrumental and arty hip-hop like a sponge and squeezing out every last drop of water in order to fill the space with new material. In fact, the “wonky” label fitted Blue Daisy well, without the need to force the semantic: every sound seemed to be in search of the funk and complexity, without ever sacrificing the ability to be accessible to his natural audience. It wasn’t Hudson Mohawke –not as urban, nor as American– but it was more complete, complex and even psychedelic than Paul White, Illum Sphere and the other knights of this British beat’s Camelot.
So what happens on “Raindrops EP”? What happens is that he sounds more female, more soulful and silky, less fierce in the rhythm construction (and its addition to digital dirt) and absolutely open to what we formerly called “trip-hop” –although in fact it’s new generation down-tempo. Anneka, who lent her voice to the records of Starkey, Vex’d and Ital Tek, is the Shara Nelson or Diane Charlemagne to an absolutely horizontal and hallucinating Blue Daisy on the two cuts of the first vinyl ( “Raindrops” and “Blood Petal Roses”), slithering gently between dissonant sub-basses, dub echoes and good-vibe engrossment. In the end it’s the phantasmal condition of the two songs –plus the Sunken Foal remix of “Blood Petal Roses”– which prevails over the sugar excess, although there also the very real risk of becoming coffee table music. The only one who does what’s expected of him is John Talabot, and uses just a whisper of Anneka’s voice, taking “Raindrops” to that field of cosmic house he’s explored so well on his releases for Permanent Vacation. Blue Daisy & Anneka - Raindrops