The fact that Metronomy, or Joe Mount more accurately, has joined the illustrious LateNightTales club, it could be viewed, in some fastidious quarters, as a sign of musical maturity. Over the last decade, some of the industry’s genuine playmakers have allowed listeners to enter their intricate and gifted minds; wander around for a bit while they somehow try to take in the very diverse, and often surreal, surroundings. Arguably, this has been the mooted pros and cons of the series, with established names opting more for the obscure rather than the easy-on-the-ear sounds.
For most of us though, this is what we expect, possibly want, from such a uniquely unorthodox collection. Belle & Sebastian and Tom Findlay of Groove Armada have already set the pace this year with successful LNT outings, so for Mount, who of course fronts a band that hardly lack in both non-conformity and imagination, was no doubt chomping at the bit when the opportunity arose.
The only danger, however, was Mount potentially seizing such fragile expectation and deliver something that even the most loyal of Metronomy fans would have trouble digesting. Mount’s fondness of quirky R&B and ‘90s hip-hop features early, notably Dr Octagon’s chilling ‘Blue Flowers’, before guiding you to the band’s cover version of Jean Michelle Jarre's 1973 track ‘Hypnose’ – the traditional LNT salute.
The remainder of the journey is a blend of indie, prog rock and IDM, presenting the weird (‘Tonto's Expanding Head Band’ by Cybernaut) to the wonderful (Alessi Brothers’ ‘Seabird’), however there will be moments when you’ll try to think of the right time and place for a number of Mount’s choices, and maybe there just isn’t. Maybe this is the innate question that somehow gives the series precedence over others…
LateNightTales mixed by Metronomy on September 3rd
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