Shaun William Ryder once of Happy Mondays and Black Grape but now also known for UFO Documentaries, “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ and having teeth not quite as white as former bandmate Bez. Unlike Bez, Ryder is again making new music and this appears to be the first fruits. His distinctive gutteral bark is intact on these tracks produced by who is the nephew of Quincy Jones no less.
All of which makes Close The Dam more remarkable. It had us hooked inside 20 seconds: that strut, that slinky come-hither groove. Just a hint of Billie Jean perhaps? Producer Sunny Levine is Quincy Jones’ grandson, so maybe that is not too far-fetched.
What a tune, though. Shaun sounds more focussed than…than ever, really. Close The Dam is something new from him, a little bit future, a spare but insistent club track with the sort of lyrics that burn into your mind. Instant classic.
Electric Scales rewinds the clock a little. If you half close your eyes, its dirty squalls would almost nestle into Squirrel & G-Man’s grooves. Almost. Until you realise just what is going on in the loping capsized production. It comes over harder than Close The Dam but wears its heart on its sleeve and if you roll with the punches, you’ll feel that clearly. There’s a lot of water under this one’s bridge.
A. Close the Dam
B. Electric Scales
Listen to ‘Close the Dam’ BELOW: