‘Bunker to Bunker’ is the debut single from McHifi. ‘Bunker to Bunker’ is an elegy to being apart, a collision of Hifi Sean’s US Dance chart topping electronica (Testify 2018), and McAlmont’s dynamic range.
2020 is the crunch. It was supposed to be: the year that McAlmont and Hifi unveiled their musical findings from an eighteenth-floor lab experiment begun in 2017. There was something about the previous year: Brexit, Trump, and the passing of McHifi heroes David Bowie and Prince juddered the view that many had of the world, no less McHifi, who have crafted a set conscious of the times without being preachy; just present in the confounding international quake. An act of god foiled those McHIFI aspirations – for now! The album is made and is ready to fly when the new normal happens.
After meeting on Facebook, Hifi invited McAlmont to join the who’s who on his 2018 ear binge, FT: Alan Vega, Bootsy Collins, Crystal Waters, Little Annie, Paris Grey formerly of Inner City and others. McAlmont was up for it. Upon listening to what Sean had composed he decided that he wanted to create a space epic, Like Josephine Baker, based on the life of the first African American woman in space, Mae Jemison. The outcome was a psychedelic space odyssey that signalled McHifi, the outfit. The recording session was their first face to face. After that Hifi attended McAlmont’s now legendary songbook shows at the award-winning Hideaway in South London; his Bowie performance made the Sunday Mail’s Top Five live performances of 2016. Hifi became interested in working with McAlmont’s chameleon like versatility.
Individually, they warmed to the idea of co-crafting a set. Hifi broke the silence nervously, fumbling the suggestion only to be greeted by McAlmont’s “STFU Sean, I would love to work with you!” The gestation of the McHifi material has been a private affair. Gestating via WhatsApp, email and eventually DropBox. Hifi uploading arrangements and McAlmont returning dicta-demos. No studios. No engineer. No tea boy. Just McAlmont and Hifi on the eighteenth floor of a London tower block within hearing distance of the Bow bells. The lofty setting with spectacular 270-degree views of the city, complete with sunsets, sunrises and murmurating ravens when storms approached was perfect for McAlmont who detests studios; Hifi, on the other hand, armed with a laptop and progressive plug ins, can make music anywhere.
The album to come is an electronic, psychedelic soul adventure featuring an eighty-piece orchestra on some tracks. After performing David Bowie sets for seven years, McAlmont developed a lyrical approach, inspired by Bowie’s cut and paste approach, that he calls Real Thoughts in Real Time. He captures uncontrived thoughts, lists them on his cell phone and throws them at Hifi’s sonic revolutionary tactics to see what will stick. It’s why he calls the lyrics dystopian psychobabble, which is just as well because they locate their sound somewhere between steam punk soul and space race blues.