Like muggers who want your cash, but don’t want any real trouble, Chikini may be a rare breed, but generally they know what they’re doing. Exhibit A is 'Ether Radio'.
Rather than hit you with some sonic salvo, which seems to popular these days, this catchy little number sidles up to you all twittering sound effects, muted guitar and tambourines. When the drums kick in they’re more an exhalation of air than an announcement. A synth-line spirals upward in the mid-song break, building to crescendo with handclaps and more effects, and then just when you’re expecting the big pay-off, the single casually discards all of its tension in a heart-beat and bounces back for the final verse and chorus.
It all sounds pretty disposable, doesn’t it? Yeah, but the experience lingers. You play it again, thinking you’ve missed something. You know you’ve heard this style before but you can’t remember where. So you play it a few more times to be sure, but you still can’t place it. And then you find yourself humming it on the tube. And in bars. And at your desk. And in your bedroom. It’s like it’s curled up in your back-brain and is stubbornly refusing to leave.
In two-and-a-half minutes Chikinki stamp 'Ether Radio' into your cranium. Like the aforementioned muggers, there’s no drama, no violence, just time for a thanks-for-your-cash nod and then they leg-it. You don’t forget the experience in a hurry. Unlike the experience of being mugged, though, you’re not left cursing and wishing castration on them and anyone who looks like them. Which is a good thing.
8Nick Cowen's Score