Jump Leads

by Fila Brazillia

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about

Nearly a decade after Steve Cobby and David McSherry jacked in a putative career in acid jazz to develop Fila Brazillia’s mix of chilled ambient and loose-limbed funk, it seems the music-buying world has gradually come around to their homegrown and often plain sound. On this, their sixth self-released album, the Hull duo branch out from their usual output to include guitars, wailing blues harmonicas and even – shock! – songs. At its best, their sound is fibrous, organic and streets ahead of their compilation-album rivals. It’s both grown-up and delightfully daft, like Vangelis gone disco (that’s meant as a compliment). Motown Coppers flies the flag for wilfully off-centre funk with its drum’n’bass-meets-country-blues groove. Tracks such as ‘We Build Arks’ could have slipped through the cracks of an overly chilled-out nation of music-lovers, but they are transformed by singer Steve Edwards into the kind of AOR epics that wouldn’t shame Glen Campbell or Jimmy Webb.

Frank Tope, The Guardian

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Bizarre though it may seem, the two blokes from Hull, otherwise known as the Pink Floyd of electronica – Fila Brazillia, have been working together for eight – yes, count ‘em, eight, albums, each containing at least one track at least 15 minutes long, all track titles intent on outright confusion. This is their eighth, and latest offering, Jump Leads, which though hardly new (it’s been out for at least a year), I decided to revisit.

It’s bouncy opening, inexplicably titled, Bumblehaun, sets the tone for the rest of the album – a laid-back, though not entirely chilled-out set of tunes. For the die-hard FB fans, you might be shocked at the lack of a 15 minute indulgence, and dismayed at the use of (gasp) vocals on some of their tracks. But don’t worry – the lyrics are strange enough – ‘The wheels on the bus go round and round…’

Ahem. But pretensions aside, there’s enough here for everyone – there’s world-fusion on Mother Nature’s Spies, more familiar FB guitar-electronica melting pot stuff on the cute DNA, Latinised trumpeting on It’s A Knockout and Motown Coppers is souped up Shaft – served up electrofunk stylee, as they say in some parts. Hardly music to relax to – more music to drive to, if anything.

Just what do those weird and wonderful track titles mean? Who cares – indeed, it’s the music which speaks volumes, and it’s a fine, if more mainstream album which certainly contains more heart than the equally fine but soulless offerings from Zero 7.

Dick Witty, BBC Collective
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OVER the past 10 years Hull production duo Fila Brazillia (David McSherry and Steve Cobby) have made their name both as artists in their own right and with down-tempo dance remixes for acts such as UNKLE and Radiohead. At its best, their music is a triumph of understatement and quiet quality, at worst it can be dull as ditchwater.

Decorated with a close-up shot of a set of car jump leads, this eighth album clearly aims to dispel all notions of dreariness, mainly through the presence of singer Steve Edwards. His vocal style – Chris Rea jammimg as the sun sets on a family barbecue – lends the album a curious folky tone. The resulting sound is not unappealing, a hybrid of funk and cowpoke blues that delivers a pleasing emotional boost.

Tom Horan, Daily Telegraph


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Steve Cobby solo work available @ stevecobby.co.uk

credits

released March 5, 2002

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1 Accordion, Harmonica – Dan Eldon
3 Vocals – Steve Edwards
4 Guitar – Archie Deacon
5 Vocals – Steve Edwards
8 Percussion – Aaron Gammon
9 Vocals – Steve Edwards
10 Drums – Julian Taylor
11 Accordion, Harmonica – Dan Eldon; Vocals – Steve Edwards

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about

Fila Brazillia Hull, UK

Fila Brazillia is a partnership from Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire in North-East England. Formed in 1990 by Steve Cobby and David McSherry. They cross pollinate genres.

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