Monday, 16 February 2015

James Adams - Sin Aperture

First published in Songlines Magazine issue 106, March 2015.

James Adams
Sin Aperture
Self-released (56 mins)

Well this is a strange album. Sin Aperture is the debut album of London-based self-styled ‘adventure musician’ James Adams. It boasts 52 musicians of 16 nationalities (and recorded in 15 different countries) and brings together ‘flamenco, African blues, hip-hop, jazz, funk, Balkan, Arabia and Western classical music.’ How can such a mix work? Well…

The thing is, it does contain some properly enjoyable tracks – the opener, for example, is a lovely cello quartet with viola – and a lot of the pieces do contain some great elements – a floaty jazz singer here, a funky Balkan brass band there and a head-nodding rap somewhere else.

The problem is that there’s no consistency in the album at all. Almost every track sounds completely different and the effect is very jarring; one calm and introspective acoustic piece can give way to glitchy dancefloor electronica to the unfortunate detriment of both.

The end product is a hyperactive and quite pretentious album. A shame, because there is definite potential buried in here.