XOB make smooth soul grooves for the digital era. Gone are the crooning saxophones of yesteryear and ushered in are pseudo-brass chords and electronic pianos which envelope like flowers erupting from stems that bloom in the soul. Blatantly computerised synth lines seem to bear a much more organic fruit than what one might expect, and rhythms, laden with most unearthly reverberations creep, vine-like along the walls of every track. How could music so heavily tampered by the hands of mankind emerge so pure and natural? The answer seems to lie in the fertile voice of Barbara Moleko, which rises through and out of XOB’s music, tugging at you and dulcetly coercing you into believing that this music really is soulful, despite its digital conception.
From where in this world might such soulful music emerge? From smoke-filled bars in Louisiana? Bustling uptown clubs in Michigan? How about Denmark? Copenhagen to be precise. Just in case you needed anymore proof that we now live in a time when topographical boundaries have ceased to prevent music and art from swelling over them, XOB seem to clearly demonstrate the unstoppable nature of this global tide. Despite being only 5 tracks long, Enchantments is an EP that ought not to sink silently amidst this vast musical ocean, as within its limited run time it showboats enough to leave a lasting imprint on the memory.
The slick groove of CPH (It’s the city) invites shifting shoulders, closed eyes and cocksure pouts, its full-bodied warmth picking you up and sweeping you along with sense of elegance and class. The whole spirit of Enchantments seems to invoke images of high minded individuals sipping away at expensive drinks in the kind of seedy underground venue that only reveals its sumptuous interior to those in the know. Elsewhere on the EP, Just Let Go boasts falling Rhodes chords and a pressurized bassline that undulates throughout the track, grinding and smooth, it plays the role of the handsome young man in an expensive suit. The one who sidles up to the bar and subtly buys the prettiest girl in the room a drink. But, with its low lying rhythm and indelible chorus Two Steps is the crowning moment of this record, clocking in at a just over 2 minutes long, the track manages to be sharp and to the point but without feeling at all rushed. It’s here to drink but not to get drunk and maintains that elusive, laid-back soirée vibe that seems more common in books and films than in real life. Here, Barbara Moleko’s vocals are devastatingly seductive as they swan their way through the mix. Once again, it’s all about class, and for those seeking an escape from the Tesco Value party lifestyle, Enchantments is a perfect listen.
Posted: Thu 5 July 2012 Total Views: 356Views Today: 0