The Wave Room is the latest artist to emerge
from the British Bella Union stable of bands. This new album
is the brainchild of Hamish Mackintosh who combines numerous
elements together to forge his unique electronic ba sed craft.
His vocals are as smooth and floating as his compositions;
cr eating a well rounded listening experience. You've got
to also notice th e guests involved and the directions the
music takes because of these uni ons.
You know from the opening track, "Atlas
Of Hands" that you are in for a t reat. A subtle dance-able
beat (not necessarily a "dance-beat") carries along an easy
textural passage. Mackintosh's voice sets the tone for the
song with its steady tone and delivery. The chorus swells
with a mass o f backing vocals and keyboard flourishes. There
is an inherent vibe in " One For The River" that just soothes
the soul. Could it be Mackintosh's airy and heartfelt vocals?
Could it be Robin Guthrie's guitar and produc tion? What about
that understated drum programming-those pipe sounds-tho se
spoken bits? The strengths all work together to produce a
highly imme rsing tune. Mackintosh brings bass god Jah Wobble
to aid the dub-laden r eaches of "Houdini." To take the tune
in an entirely different direction , live sitar (courtesy
of Paul Wright) mixes with the toasting and bass l eadings.
Samples and keyboard intrusions color the scene, creating
a uni que work indeed. Mackintosh takes a heartfelt look at
getting older on t he pastoral "Manna." "Dreaming In Tongues"
builds on a textural field of keyboard melody and bass until
it reaches the gloriousness of its sweepi ng chorus. Many
of the finest elements of smooth British pop fill the gr ooves.
Nods go out to everybody from Roxy Music to The Christians
to the better elements of Simple Minds. "Second Box" relies
on that subdued pr ogramming again, and much more keyboard
noise. In addition to the lead v amp, Mackintosh adds watery
elements and carefully placed noise to play a gainst his thoroughly
appealing vocals. "Memory One" continues this them e. You
can groove to that guitar melody and the Manchester-era styled
dr um and bass structure. You'll feel familiar with this one.
Do I smell a possible hit single?
The Wave Room has provided us with a unique
and avant-garde record that y ou can actually listen to. Mackintosh
takes standard building blocks and fashions them with his
own brand of mortar...think of a red brick buildi ng put together
with black mortar. It'd seem a little off kilter, yet to tally
acceptable, especially after seeing it for a few times. That's
Lov e Medicine: an experimental, yet approachable record.
These compositions are not too far away from the mainstream,
yet the slightly challenging e lements may keep the masses
from the exposure worthy of this record. Tha t's okay with
me, because for now it'll be my little secret that I will
g ladly enjoy over and over again.
1. Atlas Of Hands
2. Dreaming In Tongues
3. Anywhere Here Is Now
4. One For The River
5. Memory One
6. Second Box
9. Oneday Someday Soon
10. Love Medicine