Second Culture’s new release, Flying Potion, offers up twelve tracks from the trio of Keyth McGrew, Andy Hutson, and Mark Florin. For the most part, these trippy grooves laced with shots of playful sound experiments dance their way through phases of chill-room cool, namaste-worthy yogic tones, spicy World flavors, and borderline psychedelia. For much of the ride, catchy hooks prevail and the overall feel is upbeat and light. “Arcane Ritual” is like being lead through a Sanskrit chant by the happiest guru ever. Hutson’s snappy drumming underscores an ebullient chanted/sung mantra, and there’s a touch of the Beach Boys hiding in the excellent harmonies here. I love the way this cruises straight into the intense energy of “Hurricane Eyes,” which widens out into a rich Middle Eastern space. The trio lose me for a while beginning with “Bardo,” which features a spoken-word aspect that pares down to one phrase which is then repeated, in my opinion, way too much. It carries over into the next track, the otherwise engaging “Blue Purple Dream.” This track has a cool house backbeat and a bouncing bass sequencer line that I could fully drop into if not for that one overplayed bit. With the quiet electronic twiddling that opens “All the Symmetry is Obvious From Above,” they pull me back in. This track builds nicely, taking its time adding elements and lacing in a Berlin-style sequencer feel. This segues without a bump into the analog burble of “Super Hero,” a bit of a joyride for old-school fans like me.
Flying Potion has a lot going for it. It’s easy to take in, catchy as hell in spots, and diverse. If you’re looking for some uptempo electronica with a somewhat eclectic edge, it’s definitely worth lending an ear to.
Available from the Second Culture web site.