Pepe Deluxé Spare Time Machine

[Catskills; 2007]

Rating: 5/5

Styles: electronica, psychedelia
Others: Death In Vegas, Husky Rescue, The Go! Team, Death By Chocolate

Third time must be the charm. On Spare Time Machine, Pepe Deluxé -- consisting mainly of duo Tomi “JA-Jazz” Paajaanen and James Spectrum (Jari Salo) with a few odd friends thrown in for flavor -- continue to grow as a musical entity by leaps and bounds. Granted, there has been a four-year gap approximately between their first three albums, but that time has not been wasted. They still pick at roughly the same kind of bass-heavy, acid-pop downtempo they’ve been working on since the mid-'90s, so returning fans won’t be alienated.Third time must be the charm.Third time must be the charm. On Spare Time Machine, Pepe Deluxé -- consisting mainly of duo Tomi “JA-Jazz” Paajaanen and James Spectrum (Jari Salo) with a few odd friends thrown in for flavor -- continue to grow as a musical entity by leaps and bounds. Granted, there has been a four-year gap approximately between their first three albums, but that time has not been wasted. They still pick at roughly the same kind of bass-heavy, acid-pop downtempo they’ve been working on since the mid-'90s, so returning fans won’t be alienated.Third time must be the charm. On Spare Time Machine, Pepe Deluxé -- consisting mainly of duo Tomi “JA-Jazz” Paajaanen and James Spectrum (Jari Salo) with a few odd friends thrown in for flavor -- continue to grow as a musical entity by leaps and bounds. Granted, there has been a four-year gap approximately between their first three albums, but that time has not been wasted. They still pick at roughly the same kind of bass-heavy, acid-pop downtempo they’ve been working on since the mid-'90s, so returning fans won’t be alienated. However, the improvements made both in terms of musicianship and quality of songwriting craftsmanship over their 1999 debut is glaringly obvious and deservedly commendable.

With DJ Slow instilling as much hip-hop aesthetic as he could into 1999's Super Sound, Pepe Deluxé was a thoroughly sample-based, synthetic affair. But there isn’t a sample to be found on their latest (DJ Slow now two albums removed from the group), which means there’s no way they would've been able to pull off something as grandiose in its effect as Spare Time Machine eight years ago. Their third album for Catskills fully embraces the same vein of psychedelic '60s lyrical and aural motifs as Arthur Brown, King Crimson, and a whole plethora of notable acid-drenched garage and jam bands from rock’s golden age (Creation, The United States Of America, and so on).

This album then is a remarkable feat, executed flawlessly with lysergic synth, fuzz-bomb riff, razor-bladed amp, and madcap organ, made that much more amazing by the fact these assholes are Finnish. Perhaps if The Go! Team had actually played every sound on their celebrated debut, they’d have been close to making something as impressive as Spare Time Machine -- but only close. Spare Time Machine will make you feel love again, and that’s a rare thing these days.

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