What is it with dinosaurs and dance music of late? We Do Not Have A Dinosaur is a compliation album exhibiting the best of our very own Oxford dance acts. The album was compiled by the people behind the Pschotechnic League and the profits from each sale are being donated to the Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal.
It gives a taste of the local talent in an area of music that isn’t explored or promoted enough in Oxford. As a result, I was like a child with a new yo-yo when I was presented with this album. We Do Not Have A Dinosaur consists of 14 tracks from different artists. Rather than listing each one (which might prove tedious!) I shall offer my highlights from the album and the lights that were maybe not so high. On the dinosaur theme, Coloureds electronica-infused ‘Tennis’ has the gravely bass found in TEED’s ‘Sickly Child’. There is progressive breakbeat interspersed with housey chords and a drop at around 2 min that drives through with sliding bass and unexpected reggae rythms.
The Manacles Of Acid provides the only real techno track of the album. It’s definitely inviting and different to other current UK techno with its warmer, wavy synths layered with a harsher forceful bass. The vocal samples that define the intro and recur throughout create a surprising addition to an already great track. Death of Hifi and The Evenings demonstrated some insteresting treble and jumping octave synths in their electronica tunes but on the whole, both felt like distinctly regurgitated Prodigy tracks.
‘Pia’ by Grudle Bay Riots offers a refreshing change to the frantic electronica that dominates this album. Its surfy vocals and crunchy guitar chords provide an indulgently mellow summer sound that is reminiscent of Café Del Mar. It’s definitely a chirpy tune you could imagine yourself punting to with a glass of cold Crabbies, mmm.
Space Heroes Of The People and King of Beggars feel overly try-hard with their attempts at interpreting the epic sounds of yesteryear (the 80’s). In ‘Kosmoceratops’ I half expected Wham to start singing whereas in ‘Winter Sounds 4’, they kind of do… just with exaggerated English accents. Saying that, there is some epic acoustic bass and quirky music box overtones in the two tracks respectively. Tiger Mendoza demonstrates some impressive scratching and dramatic, echoed drums. Their electronic/rock ensemble offers greater depths and ingenuity than its electronic counterparts in the rest of this album.
The content and diversity in this album is impressive to say the least and offers a new dimension to the music that is emerging from the basements of the Oxford people.