Release Date: 02.22.00
Record label: palm pictures
by: bill aicher
Electronic music envelopes a large spectrum these days. Gone are the days when electronic music meant pulsing bass beats and repeated synthed rhythms. There is ambient, house, trance, trip-hop, and on and on. Where The Supreme Beings of Leisure fall into this is even more difficult to define.
Mellowed hip-hop vocals entrenched in a deep-house trip-hop smoothness. More chill than electronic pop compatriats Garbage, less eclectic than fellow trip-hoppers Portishead, and trippier than late night clubbers Everything But the Girl, these UK hipsters manage sprinkle in a bit of 60's psychedilia while keeping jazzy but not quite Fatnastee. This is music for cool people.
I'd call it leisure groove.
On this, their debut album, The Supreme Beings of Leisure manage to walk the line of poptronica without falling into the pure pop ditches. Vocalist Geri Soriano-Lightwood gives the group a sense of soul that is much deeper than that found on most other electronic music - perfectly complimenting the synths and beats layed down by her three bandmembers (who spend as much time programming as playing their respective instruments).
Songs such as "Never the Same" and "Truth From Fiction" mix a trip-hop style with an R&B soul, while "Goldigger" (the album's shining star) features a rock/funk guitar riff with Austin Powers undertones. The album starts to fade into the background for the last few tracks, but closes with style on "Under the Gun," saxophone and all.
For a debut album, The Supreme Beings of Leisure have put out an amazing work. True, they haven't broken any boundaries or taken any chances, but the beats and synths are as perfectly tight as one could hope for, without bowing to a monotonous repetitivity. Most bands only dream of being so cool.