Album Review by Mark Bayross
With their second album release, NIGHT WORKS, London-based duo Matthew Benjamin and Layo Paskin have crafted a short but multifarious set that clearly underscores their origins as a classically-trained percussionist-turned-studio engineer and acid house magnate respectively.
Both have worked with former Shamen rapper and finger-wagger Mr.C, while Layo co-founded the legendary The End with him, a club that went on to host then-emerging superstars like Fatboy Slim and Roni Size.
Given their eclectic backgrounds and tastes encompassing techno, breakbeat, electro, electronica and dub, not to mention classical music, NIGHT WORKS, rather like its predecessor LOW LIFE, has emerged a widescreen, cinematic sweep of beats and sounds.
From the frantic tribal drumming of SHINING THROUGH to the brooding WE MET LAST NIGHT and the bass-heavy space-jazz of SLEEPY LANGUAGE, these tracks segue together into a rollercoaster ride of thrills and chills, simultaneously futuristic and earthy.
There are plenty of stand-out moments – the single LOVE STORY (originally an untitled fan-only limited edition giveaway) is a blissful stream of sleek house-blues, while LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL and STRIKE are a sensory assault of beats and bass respectively, and ALL NIGHT LONG even throws some scat into the mix.
NIGHT WORKS is a hugely enjoyable slab of genre-hopping electronica. Much like Orbital, the collision of sounds (strings, piano, sax, vocals, bass and electric guitar, cowbells, sitar, even cheering crowds) creates a head-rushing collage that never outstays its welcome.