Cooly G – Wait ‘til Night (4 stars)

Merissa Campbell proves she is one of UK's most innovative electronic producers with new 'bedroom music'

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Cooly G – Wait ‘til Night

(Hyperdub)

The UK Funky style of her earliest releases has been set aside on this second album from Londoner Merissa Campbell, one of the nation’s most innovative electronic producers. Instead, the follow-up to 2012’s Playin’ Me comprises twelve tracks of what the press release very appropriately describes as ‘bedroom music’. It’s a collision of styles, but amid it all there’s a defining aesthetic, and that’s Campbell’s breathy voice set to prowling, slowed-down, carnal beats. It’s tricky to recall the last time an artist made music so obviously intended for seduction without sounding either parodic or sleazy.

Witness ‘So Deep’, a grinding drum track with Cooly intoning, ‘it’s got so deep … I can’t sleep / cos of you, boy,’ or the bare bones 2-step of ‘Fuck With You’, or the minimal house snap of ‘I Like’. ‘I like the way that you kiss me / I like the way that you hold me … show me that you’re the one who’s in love now’, she all but whispers on the latter. It is, like much of this record, about intimacy as much as it’s about sex – a mature, unembarrassed and, most of all, fun commentary on the physicality of attraction, which doesn’t sit far thematically from Marvin Gaye in his later years.

Within this theme, the album traverses moods and emotions, from the poppy ‘1st Time’ to the stripped-back bump’n’grind R&B of ‘Dancing’ and the minimal, almost Kraftwerkian proto-electronica of the title track. The moody, sweat-drenched sense of raw sexuality never lets up, but Campbell’s emotional range is broad within that, from ‘Your Sex’s insistent playfulness to ‘Want’s blatant rhythmic pacing as though it were soundtracking the act and ‘3 of Us’, its tale of single motherhood the most wrong-footingly personal thing on here: ‘couldn’t figure how you would give up the best thing ever / a little baby / that shit amaze me’. It’s a record which deserves to make her name far and wide.

Cooly G - Wait Til' Night - (Hyperdub 2014)

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