DJ Cam / Seven
Inflamable Records / Released November 2011
Parisian-born Laurent Daumail returns in full effect with his first real album since 2001’s acoustic offering, Soulshine. In between then and now there have, of course, been a wealth of collaborations, compilations, remixes and similar contributions to music, but whichever way you look at it die hard followers will have been waiting with baited breath for this one.
Sighs of relief all round then, as it’s as polished, refined, and varied an offering as one might expect from a guy who is as comfortable creating folk as he is crafting jazz-infused hip hop instrumentals and smoky downbeats. The perfect example of the latter is provided on this outing with Love, an excursion that features the vocals of Nicole, a singer boasting both the other worldliness of electronica’s nymph-like songstresses, while also sounding a whole lot more commanding than many of those peers.
Meanwhile, grittier low ends appear on title track Seven, a meld of rumbling bass, electronic bleeps, searing and soaring string harmonies, providing something of a juxtaposition of timbre that works perfectly. In terms of the Earthier fare many will recognise summer hit Swim, a song which is something of an homage to the sombre, or at least reflective moments in Radiohead’s oeuvre, a band that (apparently) played a big part in providing inspiration for this album, with lyrics delivered here by Chris James, a guy that manages to project himself with more than a little Thom Yorke.
The same voice can be heard on the excellent, staccato piano-blues outing Ghost, a track that should sit well with fans of experimental R&B artists such as James Blake and How To Dress Well. On top of that it’s also worth mentioning the wonderfully multi-sided Dreamcatcher- a piece that veers from epic soundscapes of synth waves, crashing cymbals and powerful broken beats into a funk-fuelled electro, complete with dirty baritone and tracking hi-hats, not to mention that vocal loop “I made a promise I’ll save myself for you“.
Finally no appraisal would be complete without the silent killer bonus Track A Loop, wherein those off-kilter piano keys we all know and love (see Friends and Enemies for perhaps the best example) are finally let loose, before we enter exotic, sun-kissed Thievery Corporation territory. All of which makes for an impressively well conceived, and impeccably executed album that any generation of Cam fan should appreciate, while newcomers will find the producer’s various facets represented to some extent, making for perhaps the most accurate introduction to the artist possible.