Night Beats 'Rajan'

Fuzz Club & Suicide Squeeze joint release

Danny Lee Blackwell is on righteous fire right now; hot on the heels of his Abraxas album ‘Monte Carlo’ and the last Night Beats offering ‘Outlaw R&B’ {and who can forget the absolute classic ‘That;s All You Got’ single that preceded it in 2020} he’s dropped this stunning and diverse collection.

It’s bursting with a wide range of influences spanning and blurring multiple genres and multiple decades, but there’s no point trying to study it; just dive in, soak it up and go with the flow. Whatever goes on in his musical mind isn’t constrained by genres or rules and that’s the beauty of the whole thing. It is uniquely Night Beats.

It’s red hot from the first seconds – ‘Hot Ghee’ is a languid swirling and exotic soundtrack to the best 60s counter culture film you ever imagined. Psychedelia is thrown around as a description a lot at present; this is the real thing and it continues, as does the fuzzy soundtrack vibe with ‘Blue’; a shimmering dream, straight out of a Jess Franco 70s dimly lit smoky nightclub scene.

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‘Nightmare’ is ludicrously cool with a streetwise bassline and a blissed out choppy disco feel, This should get you shaking your bones…and it won’t be the only time. The album continues in that kaleidoscopic fashion; varied, richly layered and beautifully crafted but more importantly stacked with soul and crystal vision; like time travel, conjuring up heat haze childhood memories that you probably never had, it hits a universal timeless feel so that you can’t help feel you’ve heard it all your life even if only in dreams. It covers a lot of territory – the steamy dub-influenced ‘Dusty Jungle’  with its faraway flute echoes, the heartbroken psychedelic disco of ‘Thank You’, the more familiar twangy guitar and outlaw styling of ‘Cautionary Tale’, even a darker turn on ‘Osaka’ with its fleeting glimmers of warped  gospel and lysergic blues, all ending in a similar style to how it began with ‘Morocco Blues’, a delicious shimmering raga drone full of eastern vibes and mysticism.

Danny’s voice is more soulful and evocative than ever and can sound hurt and melancholy but never maudlin. The hippest of hip priests spinning exotic tales, laying out visions of the past but promises of a better future.

‘Rajan’ is filled with catchy songs dripping a cool poise and manifesting the timeless joy of music, it offers us an escape route from the dull and predictable and I’m happy to take that route. Every summer needs a soundtrack and here’s everything you need for a sweet soul filled 23.

As the man himself says (I think!) ‘fly away through the ether, from the madness’

Available now on Fuzz Club and Suicide Squeeze

Gary Powell

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Gary Powell

A dub & reggae obsessed punk rocker with a dark history in the goth underworld and European horror hacking through the psychedelic jungle and searching for new musical highs... Leads a secret voodoo cult in the Dorset countryside if you're ever in the area...

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