Hypnagogue Music Reviews

Visiting Cat, Host

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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 an 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.

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