August 31, 2015 in Albums
Dutch producer Joost van der Vleuten, AKA Namatjira, has been producing since the late 00s and first featured on this blog back in 2011; only now, though, has he got around to his debut album. But it’s been worth the wait.
Opening in downtempo mode, then building slowly to a climax but operating mostly around that point where deep and progressive house collide, just nine songs make up Friends Without Benefits‘ 1:17:43, with only opener I Did Not Cry clocking in anywhere under the eight-minute mark. Long, meandering, melodic (and in seven cases out of nine, instrumental) excursions are the name of game throughout – but while that sounds tedious when I write it down, the album in question never is.
If you’re looking for instant party-starters you’re gonna be disappointed, but this album isn’t about immediate, high-octane thrills. There are cuts that’d work on the dancefloor – Piiramo and the oddly-titled Mosquitoes Love To Play Hide And Seek, in particular – but really this is an album that’s about sitting back and enjoying the ride, preferably late at night and while suitably, ahem, ‘unwound’. And in that context, it works a treat. Trust me.
Like I said, it’s been worth the wait.