Mattafix return with their second album ‘Rhythm & Hymns’, and its something of an intriguing prospect blending from a very wide array of musical sources, the trick with this one is giving it a bit of time for the various influences to make themselves known.
For the most part its a laid back affair that should be perfect soundtrack for long hot summer evenings outside(if we are lucky). There’s a gentle blend of pop, and a light reggae tinge mixed with some basement level beat work. The influences don’t end there either, expect the rich vocal soundscapes crafted from adding Zulu singers to your entourage as well as light electronic flourishes throughout.
Despite the band having a heritage that heavily incorporates technology, the evidence of this is only pervasive on a few tracks. For example the current single ‘Things Have Changed’ which remains one of the high points on this collection, with its edgy backdrop and sweet spot vocals. In places they do come off a little like a 90’s version of Massive Attack (minus the psychological darkness).
Lyrically they weave stories based upon experience, so expect a resolute narrative on this album based upon recent touring experiences which saw them take in over 30 countries including gigs in Tel Aviv which proved to be the inspiration for a good portion of the material on offer.
As a whole its not a bad collection, well produced and despite the laid back stylings there is enough variety to keep the listener interested musically (for example the use of steel pan works really well on Freeman). Lyrically however it can drag at the listener a little and personally I found this one of those albums that is best enjoyed in bite sized pieces.
Shall we say, three out of five?
‘Rhythm & Hymns’ is released on June 16th