When I was informed that UK based artist Little People, aka Laurent Clerc, had some new electronic music in store for us, I jogged my memory to think of the last time I enjoyed his downtempo brilliance. I’m pretty sure it was on the Emancipator station via a little known app/website called Pandora (back in the day before their ads were everywhere you looked) and recall it being one of the best matches I have ever heard coming out of the algorithm operated website. Mickey Mouse Operation was the first album and dammit was it great.
To say that I was elated when I saw the new Little People album, We Are But Hunks of Wood, sitting in my inbox would be an understatement. My first listen was during a traffic-riddled, two-hour trip on the highway and immediately thought the album was absolute magic. From the opening track, “Marzipan Children,” it was exactly what I needed, what it should be—warm and welcoming with subtle drums, funky guitar and spacey synths that not only add to the tracks depth and complexion, but made the drive instantly more enjoyable
Moving on from there, “Cartouche” is filled with alien worthy bleeps and bursts, but anchored with super mellow strings and a concrete beat. The following track, “Aldgate Patterns,” is a journey through excellent melodic progression and is without doubt one of the standout tracks on the album and probably why they used it for the music video. “Wonderland” incorporates what the rest of the album leaves out—vocals. January Thompson graces “Wonderland” and must admit that her soothing vocals could’ve been used on a few more tracks but I’ll settle with one.
The second half of the album begins to pick up the pace just a bit. “MakeMeBetter” and “Electrickery” (fantastic track title, BTW) bring in some heavier percussion and lead to a well thought out conclusion to the album. “M.N.O.P.Q” begins with a more pronounced beat than the previous songs and comes as a welcomed addition. The complexity of sounds and instruments of “Farewell” begs the question of why must this album come to an end, but unfortunately it must and does so with “Underland,” a good-bye sorta tune, a brief synopsis of the album’s flavor.
All in, We Are But Hunks of Wood is a journey through a sonic field of wonderment with tracks that often leave you wanting more, but that feeling is quickly brushed aside as the next tune begins.
Bravo Little People, We Are But Hunks of Wood is a paramount example for my appreciation of downtempo music. The productions aren’t too heavy, they’re never boring and when looked at as a whole, you have a very well-balanced and composed album. You can pick up the album here.
And here a free download of "For Rosie" DJ mix