Pepe Deluxe - Spare Time Machine

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Forget anything you’ve ever heard from Pepe Deluxe. Their third studio album is quite possibly not what you would have anticipated given their previous releases. Jari Salo (aka James Spectrum) and Tomi Paajaanen (aka JA-Jazz) have made up the group since DJ Slow left back in 2003 (prior to their 2nd release with ‘Beatitude’) and they have cranked it up another notch with a sample free smashing of what could only be described as a psychedelic journey into the past but with bigger, fatter beats and HUGE breakdowns.

Kicking off the proceedings is ‘The Mischief of Cloud 6’ featuring poppy South American style vocals and some triangle work that would put Isosceles to shame. Drop in some of the aforementioned rocking breakdowns which start hitting its hallucinatory peak at around the 3 minute mark and a climactic organ (hmmm) finish; you’ve got just a little taste of what’s to come. Track 2 ‘Ms. Wilhelmina and Her Hat’ drags the Woodstock guitars from their grave, but then to my disappointment, watered them down with vocals about a woman’s hat. More drugs were obviously required for this particular number until Pepe Deluxe lash out with ‘Go for Blue’. Awesome. A song about colours. Visions of people dancing with their arms in the air chanting “I can see the music” came to mind during this track and Richard Kingsmill/JJJ has already been featuring this tune during his ‘2007’ show and it’s little wonder why. Great tune and fresher than a moist towelette.

‘The Last of The Great Explorers’ sounds a little like a western style theme. The theme that John Wayne rejected. Machismo vocals over sounds of Tinkerbell being dragged by a horse until the trippy-prog-rock creeps back in towards the end of the tune. Hitting the half way marker of ‘Spare Time Machine’ I found myself lulled back into another Pepe rock tune with ‘Pussy Cat Rock’. With lyrics like “You play with girls. You play with boys, and with yourself, you play with toys”, it is either about a furry feline or a tribute to a bi-sexual, sadomasochistic nymphomaniac. Either way, another great progressive-psychedelic rock tune. ‘Apple Thief’ perhaps may be the track on this album that ‘traditional’ Pepe fans would be happy with. Driven more by the beats, filtered noise, long drum rolls, and finished off with an orchestral strings session, it provides just the right amount of drama.

Before I review every track individually and perhaps spoil what could be quite a musical ‘trip’ for some of you, ‘Spare Time Machine’ absolutely smashed all misconceptions that I had of Pepe Deluxe. Truth be told, isn’t that what being an artist is all about? Redefining boundaries and breaking stereotypes. A truly hallucinatory experience without the aid of chemicals. Top release and for those of you that aren’t die-hard electronica only snobs, go out and grab a copy of this.

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