After three months of serious partying in LA, Jimmy Whoo’s Motel Music Part II, is lying in a darkened hotel room begging you not to open the curtains. As the name implies, this is the second part of the Parisian producer’s album. It is the sound of the most sophisticated after-party.
Motel Music Part II is primarily a modern electronic album. It is cinematic with a hazy sensuality. The intro and outro orientate the listener and serve to demarcate the entrance and exit to a different life. ‘Intro 29th Street’ opens with samples of train announcements. You are requested to, ‘Please have your tickets ready’. And so the journey begins.
Jimmy Whoo’s sonic cityscape is full of sirens, helicopter blades and the ominous beat of urban life. But within all that, there are some soulful tracks, often reinforced with a saxophone. Where the tracks have a vocal accompaniment as on ‘Cruisin’, ‘Diamond’ and Nite Eye’, they are more conventional. Certainly, ‘Nite Eye’ would be quite at home being piped through the lobby of a boutique hotel. It is a short sequinned spangle of a song that fades out like the end of the evening, when the night people meet the day people at 5.30am at the railway station.
All of the vocal performances are low in the mix or distanced by the addition of effects. So whilst the party was clearly a hectic one, it didn’t seem to forge any kind of human connection. Although the city affords many romantic interludes, as in ‘Diamond’, all too often we are swept apart by crowds on the underground, far from our ‘precious’. Similarly, ‘Wildcats’ suggests there are too many sensuous opportunities. The choice is so overwhelming they become meaningless encounters.
‘Hold Tight’ is a slower number, itself held tight by a consistent rhythmic beat, punctuated by some higher keys in the mid-section. But it is ‘Hollywood’ that epitomises Motel Music Part II. The female vocal is gentle and whispery, intoning, ‘Gonna go to Hollywood’ and reflecting, ‘in the morning…I’m still burning for you.’ The languid delivery encapsulates all the exhaustion of urban decadence.
Like Hockney’s swimming pool paintings, the album feels like a particular period of time that Jimmy Whoo wants to capture and share. These are electronic stories, events and moments. ‘Interlude Full Moon’ is a case in point. It is maybe the only one where there is a mismatch between the name of the track and the feelings evoked, the saxophone being a little too intrusive.
This is one hell of a party that we weren’t invited to, leaving everyone who was badly in need of fresh air and vitamin C.
Enjoy its exclusivity vicariously.
Motel Music Part II will be released in 17th March 2017 through Grand Ville Records.
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