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Cheeky and infectious, Routes offers something very fun.
Tales of eating fried chicken and watching channel U are but some of the everyday topics LV & Josh Idelhen muse on their superb debut. Parallel to the infectious ‘Melt’, that will have you shamelessly bouncing round in public like a kid in Disneyland, Routes offers something very fun this side of the James-cheer-up-it-may-never-happen-Blake spectrum of electronic music.
Using social observations as a starting point—more so after the well deserved success received by their 38 EP—it makes pucka sense that LV should join forces with vocalist Joshua Idehen again. But this album is a step away from the more dubby, melancholic vibes of the EP, as Joshua’s thought process and delivery offers hints of sarcasm and optimism in equal measure. That quality is sure to let admirers of Roots Manuva, Mike Skinner of The Streets, and Ghostpoet raise a cup of the red label.
And where those comparables had the support of unique production, Josh is not alone. LV’s ability to weave a tapestry of abstract deep base sounds and injections of spastic bleeps, coupled with changes in tempo and style, is the icing on the cake, making an album the better side of different.
The records huge sound variation is another thumbs up, leaning on clear influences from other electronic brackets like hyperdub and 2step but also mixing heaps more rhythm from soca, jazz and reggae dips. The bubbling repetition of ‘Never tired’ is one such indication to that amalgamation. While another UK Funky themed track, “Northern Line”, is another one to be hear in a concrete metropolis.
Starry-eyed gem ‘I know’ is a modern-day tale of love set in the dark rooms of the underground, but ‘Last Night’ is definitely my favourite. Another unconventional, romantic offering, it’s beautifully dreamy, trapped between those moments of twilight and demonstrating, again, LV’s incredible ability to craft imaginary landscapes and alter thoughts within but two and half minutes.
In short, Routes is as cheeky as much as it is beautiful held together by treads of genius and honesty. Well worth the props.
Ali RaymondLV + Joshua Idelhen: Melt
LV + Joshua Idelhen Routes