Late Night Tales: Metronomy on 2LP
The Late Night Tales series was established way back in 2001 with Fila Brazilia taking the controls and mixing up the first of what would continue to be the choice of music connoisseurs worldwide. The idea was to let the world's best artists delve deep into their collections to create the ultimate late night collection. Since its conception, we've seen the likes of Groove Armada, The Flaming Lips, Four Tet, Belle & Sebastian, Air and many more step up to produce their own individual take on the concept.
Prior to their 2012 release in the series, Metronomy, the effective alias of the talented Joseph Mount, had released three albums, starting with the jagged electro manoeuvres of their debut Pip Paine (Pay The £5000 You Owe), through to their two albums on Because, Nights Out, where Mount first sang, and the brilliant Mercury-nominated The English Riviera. As a pop group, Metronomy are more Four Tet than Fab Four, though with a sense of adventure that would've made the Fabs proud.
Their outing under the Late Night Tales banner journeys through the inspirations of the band's ever moving sound, along with a few surprises. Mount's old favorite Autechre is present and correct, but then so are Kate and Anna McGarrigle and the Sun Ra of hip hop Sa-Ra Creative Partners. Joining Sa-Ra on the hip hop front, we've got Tweet's ace "Drunk" from her Hummingbird album alongside OutKast's "Prototype," spiced with some Dr Octagon.
For pure pop, they don't come more refined than Alan Parson's "Eye In The Sky," who is buffeted by outbreaks of unsettling weirdness, among them the sadly departed Mick Karn's supple bass figurines on "Weather The Windmill" or Tonto's Expanding Head Band, the guys that brought the funk to synthesizers with Stevie Wonder, and "Cybernaut." And just when you think you've got it figured, Pete Drake arrives with his 1964 pedal steel novelty hit "Forever." This is a maze rather than a journey. Naturally enough, there is the Late Night Tales special with a sparkling Metronomy rendition of Jean-Michel Jarre's "Hypnose."