Words: Tom Belshaw
Wolverhampton has a lot going for it.
It was the first city to have automatic traffic lights installed in 1927.
It’s within the top 11% of local authority areas in England and Wales (excluding London Boroughs) for public transport use when travelling to the workplace and apparently has a football team who play better than some but worse than others.
Aside from musical heavyweights like Slade, Wolverhampton isn’t really known for it’s high brow music and art scene. It’s more famous for still having a Beatties department store, which I find both surprising and depressing in equal measure.
It may too be somewhat surprising to discover that the home of over 400 council appointed, post war bungalows is also home to a duo of masterful producers who gained the fully warranted attention of Mr. Current himself, Gilles Peterson.
Letherette spent a good while cutting their teeth on hip hop inspired beat smithery, using the lineage of their namesake as their sample inspiration.
You can’t base your name on a Grace Jones album and not expect to give something back.
With the latest slew of releases on the arbiters of dope, Ninja Tune, they’ve shown signs of a new direction. Beautifully crafted boom baps still remain but they have padded their release out with floaty 4/4 endeavours that blur the lines between tradition and new prospects. Much like the opening of the M5 which, since 1970, has provided vital links between Wolverhampton and the South West.
Opening single ‘D&T’ plays like the hazy memory of a 70’s beach party. Stuttering vocal cuts, lush pad stabs and an epic phased guitar solo make up an offering that can only be described with the words ‘summery as you like’.
Tracks like ‘I Always Wanted You Back’, ‘Cold Clam’ and ‘Boosted’ are the above standard fair that gained them the notoriety they much deserved back in 2010, but the smart money is on their new offerings.
Offerings such as ‘Restless’. A track that has more than a few inklings of Discosure’s pre hype belters.
Or perhaps ‘Warstones’ with it’s camp, French, squelchy excellence.
If that doesn’t take your fancy, ‘After Dawn’ and it’s Justice-esque, floaty majesty will surely float your yacht.
In short, this album is the showcase of an act well and truly in the midst of a breakthrough.
Not content with resting on their already gilded laurels, they’re willing and able to make progress that reveals their true potential.
A jewel in the crown of the West Midlands second largest urban subdivision.
That’s not an accolade to be taken lightly.