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Hot Natured “Different Sides Of The Sun” – Album Review

Warner Music UK (2013)

Following on from Disclosure’s chart-topping Settle, supergroup Hot Natured are the latest act from the new class of British house music to test their skills over the course of an entire studio album with Different Sides Of The Sun.

A much more blissed-out affair than the Lawrence’ brothers hyperactive take on the genre, the majority of the album’s fifteen tracks appear to have been designed with the Ibiza poolside in mind, rather than the Ibiza dancefloors. Packed full of glossy 80s-tinged synths, slinky electro grooves and soulful melodies, the tempo rarely moves into third gear, save for the Detroit techno throwback of “Forward Motion,” an approach which occasionally renders Different Sides Of The Sun indistinguishable.

But while the likes of “Take You There,” “Tightrope” and “Mercury Rising” all meld into one fairly non-descript ball of generic Balearic-tinged house, Hot Natured do sometimes manage to channel their obvious enthusiasm into more distinctive territory, most notably on “Isis,” a collaboration with Egyptian Lover whose Middle Eastern instrumentation and “genie in a lamp” spoken word middle-eight add to the whole magic carpet ride vibe.

Elsewhere, “Reverse Skydiving” is a thoroughly addictive fusion of head-bobbing basslines and sleek Italo-disco beats. Former Moloko frontwoman Roisin Murphy works her seductive magic amongst the Gregorian chants and twinkling percussion of “Alternate State,” while “Physical Control” combines the bittersweet harmonies of The Beach Boys with an eerie and disorientating production which could double up as the entrance theme to a haunted house.

Arriving at a time when the White Isle is gearing up to shut up shop, you can’t help thinking that Hot Natured might have missed the boat as Different Sides Of The Sun is unlikely to sound as sparkling in the dark cold nights of the winter. But mistimed release dates aside, it’s still a promising, if occasionally too relaxed, first offering from a band whose unbridled joy for classic house shines throughout.

3.5 / 5 stars     

About the Author


Jon O'Brien's love of music began as a six-year-old after becoming bizarrely transfixed with the 80s poodle rock of Heart, Europe and Def Leppard. Switching his attention to pop icon Michael Jackson, he then became addicted to the UK Top 40, becoming a rather pointless walking Wikipedia of chart positions in the process. Driving his poor neighbors up the wall while learning to play the drums as a teen, he toyed with the idea of becoming a musician, but in studying Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, he realized heÕd rather write about music than perform it. Since then, he's written thousands of reviews and biographies on everything from bubblegum pop to death metal, but electronica remains his main passion, with everything from Aphex Twin to Zero 7 in his spare room-consuming record collection. Jon resides in northwest England near Liverpool.

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Posted in: Album Reviews, Electronic Music