Laid-back electronica liberally infused with bits of weird await you on Visiting Cat’s Host. There’s a lot of silk and smoke to these six tracks from Diarmuid Slattery and Giuseppe Salone, and each one wears its individual coolness like a badge. “Slow Crawler” sets the scene with thumping bass, jazzy rim clicks on the drum, and synth sounds that warp like oil on water. “Watcher of Game Shows” works off a manipulated spoken clip from poet and writer Charles Bukowski. The duo lay it over a backdrop of pads, clicks and taps, and another thick bass line. (Love good bass? Plenty of it here.) The tempo ramps just a touch at the midpoint and the groove of the thing deepens. Check out the great break around the five minute mark as Slattery and Salone briefly give it a different face. This would probably be my favorite track on the album if it wasn’t for “Closer.” Feeling like it escaped from a spy movie soundtrack, it skulks stealthily around foggy city streets looking for danger. Hand claps, a hint of Latin percussion, more of that can’t-get-enough bass…it’s just a lot of fun. “Sunrise” is textbook chill, like an easy ride home after a long night out, still feeling the night’s energy, that heady bass pulse still moving in your veins and a smile on your face. My only shrug on this 44-minute joyride is “Quarters,” which just feels like it tries to hard to be quirky, or too in-your-face about it. Everything else on Host is just so confidently chill, its pushier edge stands out in a not-great way.
Host is a delicious offering of downtempo that stands up well to repeat plays. Come get your smooth groove on.
Available from Basilar Records.