|Layo & Bushwacka! - Night Works|
|Music Disc Reviews Audio CD|
|Written by Dan MacIntosh|
|Monday, 08 July 2002|
Layo & Bushwacka! is the name the duo of Layo and Matthew “Bushwacka” B have given themselves, and Night Works is very much an album of night music that closely documents a beat-driven night life world through music.
After the “so quick you’ll miss it if you blink” track called “Vinyl,” Night Works officially gets under way with “Ladies And Gentlemen.” Over an insistent bass line, a spoken “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen” is heard. You may just want to think of this song as a kind of an electronica equivalent to Cheap Trick’s “Hello There,” as it serves to welcome the listener to this album. Almost every track that follows song sports a nocturnal-related title.
"We Met Last Night," for example, sounds like the soundtrack to a film made in India. It’s driven by a sparse snare drumbeat, incorporating chopped guitars and swirling lead lines, which give the song its Indian feel. A few tracks after this meeting – via song – occurs, “Let The Good Times Roll” rolls with what sounds like Middle Eastern female vocals. It’s slow and dreamy, in a Massive Attack sort of way, before going full-on into a light dance mode. But it’s no fist-pumping anthem, that’s for sure. “All Night
Long” keeps these good times hopping, as it opens with a retro synth-pop groove and clunky drum machine beat, including a Scat-y vocal at the end.
You get the feeling that all this partying is starting to take its toll by the time Track 10, "Sleepy Language," comes along. It carries with it the hint of muted trumpet and, quite naturally, a sleepy-sounding spoken word byte. One might also surmise that our little musical/fictional account has a happy ending, since the last two tracks are called “Love Story” and “2MRW,” respectively. At least there’s a next day.
Not everything here fits into this assumed storyline, but it’s all still enjoyable music, nonetheless. . “Strike” hits with a funky synth groove that comes off like a Blaxploitation crime drama during the scene where a cop is chasing a bad guy. “Shining Through” features bongos and ticking sound scratching, sounding almost jazzy. It also has an echo-y vocal chorus. “Sahara” begins and ends with eerie and psychedelic synth sounds, and may also make you think you’re lost is some exotic desert or other.
Whether this is truly a soundtrack waiting for a movie is surely debatable. What’s beyond all question, however, is just how nicely everything flows together here, just like the perfect night.