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.