Unbuckle your seat belts and prepare to touchdown on Planet Zygon. The shape-shifting, plasma oozing toads of CAIROBI have transported us from Earth to the dystopian waters of a new habitat; but to where, the tadpoles gargle?
Planet: CAIROBI of course.
The four piece exotic psych-rockers have been brewing this journey for some time, initially doing the festival circuits as an acoustic unit and a with a fifth member, they then decided to re-group and shape-shift into the electric, synth set up they are today.
Along the way, they released 2014’s ‘Distant Fire’ EP which laid the foundations for their exotic rhythm’s and lead singer, Giorgio Poti’s, happy drawling melodies- check track: Human friend.
A string of stand-alone singles also appeared further cementing their psychedelic pop-ooz but finally the full package has been delivered.
The self titled debut album opens up with the breeding of a new egg in the form of the track ‘Habitat’, its sparkles, sounding like a Japanese TV advert, are latched onto by a synth line, mimicking the babies first sounds after hatching out the egg.
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This is child’s play for CAIROBI (if you’ll excuse the pun) a small dose of experimentation in warping keyboard sounds and bassist’s- Alessandro Marrosu– bouncy bass lines- before we begin swimming in the real stream.
One of the bands greatest facet’s live, as GIGSoup found out back in Ocotber, is drummers’, Aurelien Bernard, jazzy tinged beats, which open up single ‘Gristly words’. Poti’s vintage sounding guitar stabs , meet the manic jazz beats as Poti whales in his high- pitched delivery and amusing lyrics- “We’re celebrating what you called a fugue, I said I’d be following you.”
The stream has begun to flow in this bygone setting and the true DNA of CAIROBI is beginning to show as ‘Lupo’ demonstrates the more poppy side of the bands powers. The tracks’ catchy synth line moves us down the stream into a ray of sunlight as Poti sings about the “streets of gold” he’s driving through with a lover, once more the production comes to fruition here as the melodic bass is mixed in nicely with the Tame Impala sounding drums.
The bubbling creationists change things up with ‘Systems of a mutual doubt’ showing a more somber side- Poti playing with the sounds of his guitar and synth man, Salvador Garza, following the vocal line- however to more of a jarring effect than any real substance.
Single, ‘Saint’, which has received play from 6music, is the band at its best. A riff delicious, tribal sounding track, which possesses the bagpipes of Scotland and the sound of the Middle East inflicted upon a simple guitar riff. The drums bang rock in this track, whilst the vocals screams about the dreams of a dumped lover and CAIROBI even sound progressive here.
CAIROBI’S influences are hard to pin down, but you can recall a resemblance to Animal Collective in their creations, probably more from the elusive, high pitched lyrics that echo over the exotic rhythm sections that play out like a Tribal music compilation CD. Take the track Ghost opening with a warpy synth and the double tracked harmonies.
In ‘Ghost’ you get a feel for the more of-kilter, polyrhythms the band possess. These also appear in single ‘Zoraide’ born from the sum of their parts- the band members come from Germany, France and Mexico- a delinquent mix of musical styles, fortunate to express themselves in squelches and whirling sounds of the bands pallet.
The album closes in an Alt J fashion with the chilled- ‘No Better Ending’- a guitar picked reflection, cherishing a close friendship and its Beach House sounding samples which help close the track into a friendly send off.
CAIROBI landed us on a far distant planet from home and attempted to show us an exotic landscape. That they did in fashion and in a remarkably original form. Even when they sounded like Gorillaz on the groovy and prehistoric ‘From some other planet’s sky’ they still possessed their own experimental knack and wackiness.
For a debut album, this is far-reaching and a impressive, job well done, but… how do I get back to Earth?
Cairobi is out now via Week Of Wonders and on Spotify and Itunes.
Lead Photo Credit : Kerrie Finn @finnphotographyuk