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Fool's Gold - Surprise Hotel (Micachu and The Shapes Remix)
Nov 05, 2009
Total plays:
23 times
Why do we like this?
Fool's Gold, a collective out of Los Angeles, let the groove be their guide on their eponymous debut. The music is thoroughly African in style and if I had heard the album without any other information I would have pegged them as a North African or maybe Middle Eastern group rather than a gaggle of white L.A. hipster types. While the music is certainly accessible and poppy, Fool's Gold is not an "afro-pop" group the way Vampire Weekend, Yeasayer, or even paul simon and peter gabriel are. Instead of stealing a few foreign elements and forcing them into contrived western pop songs, Fool's Gold is recording African pop jams for what they are. Being from L.A. it's probably inaccurate to call them a strictly African group, but to say their sound is inspired by African music is an understatement.

Fool's Gold belts out their compositions with confidence surprising and refreshing for a group taking on a borrowed aesthetic. The lead guitar soars over the percussion-heavy beats. The Hebrew and English vocals fit in amazingly"”rather than leading the group they fall into the mix as just another one of the nine or so instruments jamming together. The songs don't feel as if they were crafted, but instead as if they fell together naturally or developed slowly through jamming and collective input.

While remaining African at all times, Fool's Gold, whether intentionally or not, branch out and bring the listener on a full whirlwind trip across the continent. Surprise Hotel, the stand-out track, comes on strong with a gusty Central /West African lead guitar riff. Much of the album takes elements of Ethiopian music, including Nadine, Poseidon, and Yam Lo Moshech. Ha Dvash has the group trying out the Touareg style, while the group also flirts with sounds from the Congo and Sahara. Throughout the album the lead guitar lilts back to a North African style that's sure to get your feet stomping, hands clapping, and booty shaking.

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