Welcome to our new Space Discovery!
Today we travelled far into the galaxies with Dutch-New Zealand trio MY BABY’s latest album “Sake Sake Sake”, in collaboration with Steve Dub, producer of Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk and many others. Yet “galaxies” is just a way to describe the extra-terrestrial places this music takes me to.
MY BABY’s genre seems hard to pin down, but I mean it in the best way. It’s a mix of everything dreamy, dark, edgy, religious, primordial, and futuristic, but if we had to give it a name, it would probably be synth-pop with a few spoons of funk, psychedelic rock, trip-hop and blues, and a pinch of tribal music. I guess the last one especially fits the titles of MY BABY’s previous albums, such as “Loves Voodoo!”, and “Shamanaid”, for which they won an Edison Pop Award. Their name represents the combined imagination of all the band members, and they describe it as a ‘70s girl fantasizing about being a flapper girl and dancer in the ‘20s. They summed it up perfectly, you can feel her in their music, but I’ll try and tell you something more about it.
“Sake Sake Sake” is enthralling and perfectly coherent despite being multiflavoured. EDM meets ‘90s rock, ancient folk chants, and African blues. Beautifully influenced by all these genres, this album contains in it a variety of sounds and yet maintains its strong, unique personality and creates something extraordinarily new.
It is like ritual music, for all moods and for everyone, or nearly. It gets you through each emotion, each rhythm of the heart and mind; you can lie down and listen or get up and dance, practise your sexy moves in front of your mirror, or use it for your own sacred type of celebration.
In “A Dream I Dream” the tremolo in the voice makes it sound like an ancient folk chant, while the dream-pop vibe kicks in with that same soft voice telling you “it’s alright, you’re only dreaming”. Feels like being at the end of a dream, when it all seems to accelerate, things just keep happening, but there’s that voice letting you know you’re not awake.
Then “Stupid” jumps in, much more electronic and futuristic, with distorted voices and acid sounds. “Gasoline” creeps up on you with its blues and trip-hop flavour – I fell in love with it all straight away, the guitar riffs, the voluptuous voice and that bit of Morcheeba’s sound. Magnetic. Big sexy song.
“Cry Baby” gets you in a trance. The initial folk chant-like voice gives a feel of late afternoon melancholy. If this was a choreography, I’d imagine it as belly dancers later moving into the background to leave space to leather-clad Lady Gaga’s background dancers.
“Sake sake sake” has much more of a rock start and keeps the vibe all throughout. It’s the comeback after the breakdown, with a dreamy feel towards the end.
“Don’t Fight It”, like “Cry Baby”, combines elements of chanting and Indian raga with electronic sounds and a dance bassline. It then becomes mean, rock lyrics on EDM bassline, while the raga plays here and there in the background, until a chanting ethereal voice turns into sound, and that sound then turns into rock rage again.
“Everybody Scream” consecrates the album as a proper ritual music piece. It’s a gentle invite to scream and put your hands in the hair from a churchlike choir, with music faintly and slowly starting only towards the end as a perfect build up to the next song into which it melts, “It’s A Setup”, a very rock n roll reflection on reality. “Unlike Before” is two voices with an elegant bass and guitar swelling up into a rolling drum and bass where ‘90s rock meets Moderat. “Nothing’s Gonna Change” closes the album with its slow funk, almost romantic beat accompanying dystopian (or should we say realistic?) thoughts.
“Sake Sake Sake” can be described as a calm day with pouring rain outside, and MY BABY’s attempt at letting both their music and lyrics talk is absolutely successful.