REVIEW Boulderhead ‘Bread, Butter, Noodles, Spice’ [The Sound Of Limo]

Only those who have been living on some far-flung planet in recent years won’t be aware of a certain Gene On Earth and his brilliantly curated Limousine Dream label, which spawned an equally excellent sister label, The Sound Of Limo, back in 2021, which has featured choice cuts from James Andew, Sweely, Douwe & Picasso to name just a few. Let’s add to that stellar cast Mr. Henry James, otherwise known as Boulderhead, the Bristol-based artist whose name has appeared on fine imprints including Gestalt Records, Craigie Knowes and Running Out Of Steam in recent years.

The track which has been getting a chunk of hype in recent months is the title track of the EP and the A1 here, the tastily groovy Bread, Butter, Noodles, Spice, which features the culinary refrains from the appropriately names Overnite Oates, possibly a relation of 80s legend John Oates of Hall & Oates? However, the tempo kicks in with real impetus, a haunting bell-like effect running in the background, before one hell of a funky bass jam comes into play, with the food-related vox and nifty synths get your mouth watering. A track which simply references types of food could be cheesy if handled in a bad way, but this is a fine dish best served hot, to maintain the fodder-related analogies here.

The A2 brings us Moonstone Energy System, a fantastically smooth, floaty vibe which, as with the title track, is musically onomatopoeic, in that it sounds exactly like its name. This time the bass is low, there’s more of a swing to the percussion, little spacey sounds come in and out in the background, all the while a subtle stabby riff flanges its way through the track, giving continual movement as the track glides along. This is an exquisite piece of electronic action.

Next up and opening the B-side there is Ultra. As with the previous two cuts, the pace of the beats is lovely and quick, this time there’s an almost metallic feel to the sounds, squelchy spring-like hits coming in and out, over a stabby bassline and some occasional ravey sounds, placed neatly in the background. Very much an “after midnight” jam right here. 

Closing the EP is another spacey workout in the shape of Framework, this time taking a low-level delayed key riff which eases through the punchy drums, with deft FX licks leading into a swirling Acid line as the track hits the 2:30 mark. This cut is almost like a reworked rave track, utilizing all the elements of something from 1991 – key riff, check; Acid, check; FX, check – but smoothed out to instead serve up a brilliantly layered after-hours club vibe. 

All four tracks on this EP are club-friendly, offering cheeky smiles, head-down-in-the-groove sounds and nods to the past but repackaged for today, superbly put together and a winner from head to toe. Now, what to have for dinner.      

Boulderhead’s Bread, Butter, Noodles, Spice is out on The Sound Of Limo.

Words by Al Bradley

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