Monday 1 July 2013

Quadron - Avalanche

Denmark is hardly known for a deep tradition of soul music, but that doesn't mean that Quadron are derivative.  Quite the opposite in fact - with no rules, the duo are free to experiment with instrumentation and genre.  The result is an album that fuses jazz, soul and electronic R&B in a sultry mix.

Quadron's closest contemporary is the future-soul of Jessie Ware, but with an added dose of jazz musicianship.  Singer Coco O has a tone that flits between a sultry whisper and a buoyant, pop sound from song to song - Ware meets Winehouse.  Either way it's a voice that floats effortlessly over the production of Robin Hannibal that's polished to an impossible sheen.

That Hannibal is also one half of soul duo Rhye and their recent debut 'Woman' comes as no surprise.  'Avalanche' has a similarly smooth sound that fuses Motown and jazz with a futuristic pop feel.  Opener LFT for example begins with a saxophone lick that descends into a wash of glittering synths and a handclap beat soon matched by strings and horns.  Current single Hey Love is a rare upbeat track, the duo favouring lazily meandering ballads on the whole like the evocative Befriend.  It's Gonna Get You, meanwhile, pairs its funk basslines and itchy beats with glossy strings.

The duo would benefit from roughing up a little in places, due in part to some generic lyrics.  The overall sound is incredibly lush and warm, practically melting over your ears and (at times) into the background.  The album's most arresting track is Better Off, which features a (subdued) rap from Kendrick Lamar, proving that when the duo strike a balance between silky textures and a touch of grit, the effect is a sexy and harmonious answer to a sun-kissed summer.


Gizzle's Choice:
* It's Gonna Get You
* Better Off

Listen: 'Avalanche' is available now.