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Alberteen - A French Connection

  by Adrian Huggins

published: 30 / 5 / 2016

Alberteen - A French Connection
Label: Rhythm and Noir
Format: CD


Imaginative mini-album of remixes for Nottingham-based post-punk outfit, Alberteen

Nottingham-based band Alberteen have released a new mini-album of sorts, which sees the band revisiting and remixing a handful of their previous favourite tracks, along with some help from other collaborators including Cornershop's Tjinder Singh. Alberteen first made a name for themselves in 2012 when they were championed by such tastemakers as Stuart Maconie, Gideon Coe and Tom Robinson. Listening to the 'A French Connection' it is not hard to see why they were so well received by the 6 Music crowd. They are different enough to stand out and have their own sound, but are not too far off the quirky scale to be enjoyed by the casual listener. The lead guitar hook sounds as if it could have been lifted from the Specials' back catalogue but there is a noticeable nod too towards gothic pioneers Bauhaus and Fields of the Nephilm. That goth sound, however, is probably closer to the likes of Gaye Bykers On Acid rather than the aforementioned, as Alberteen's approach is of a sunnier disposition, I would attribute this to vocalist Phil Shaw's delivery. It is this delivery coupled with the odd shard of ska that makes the music feel a lot more light-hearted and theatrical rather than the initial dark, gothic overtones suggest. The band sound more like they are passing comment on a horror movie rather than being cast as the main character. The album was produced by Mike Bennett who has Ian Brown, The Fall and many Trojan Records bands on his CV. Straightaway the drum sound is a teller that that some Trojan Hands have played a part in the recording somewhere and that little touch really lifts the mood just enough to separate the band from having any sort of generic post-goth sound. ‘Hidden (Comma Period Remix)’ sees Parisian DJ Comma Period adding some slow trip-hop beats and ambient synth to smooth the surf rock edge somewhat. The result is a mellow affair that has an air of Morcheeba about it, which is quite far from Alberteen’s normal sound. ‘French Connection’ is given a more subtle makeover, but, however, the result is something that steers the sound in a different and quite unexpected direction. ‘Infant Nation’ reveals a more gloomy and serious side to the band. It reminded me very much of Pulp’s darker moments, not that there were too many of those, but this change of vibe really packs a punch when nestled amongst the more playful sounds. The final song to be remixed is ‘All You Need To Make A Movie’ which sees Tjinder Singh and Ben Ayres putting their stamp on it. The result does have echoes of Cornershop although not in an obvious or egotistical way. The drums are softened and tweaked and there is a more playful feel to it. The result is a far cry from the previously mentioned Gothic feel which will probably make it more appealing to many. This mini-album will serve as a good way for the band to gently ease in a few more potential fans out there that have yet to stumble upon Alberteen.

Track Listing:-
1 A French Connection
2 A Girl and a Gun
3 Hidden (Comma Period Remix)
4 A French Connection (Comma Period Remix)
5 Infant Nation
6 All You Need to Make a Movie (A Girl and a Gun Cornershop Mix)

Band Links:-

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