Artist: Starecase
Title: Firstfloor
Label: Hope Recordings
By: Simon Jones | 6 June 2002
  1. Faith
  2. Understand Me
  3. Sound Two - Second Time
  4. Come In
  5. Stuck In The Middle
  6. See
  7. Aishiteru
  8. Bitter Little Pill
  9. The Bitter End

Starecase "Firstfloor"

Out Now on Hope Recordings

Starecase, aka Bristolians Al Watson and Paul Crossman have made waves on the music scene with the releases First Floor Deadlock and Lost 22 back in the mid 90s. Since then they have gone on to remix the likes of BT, Beber and Tamra, The Orb and many other high profile artists, as well as concentrating on original material like the Hopeless EP. Through all this, they have honed and shaped their studio prowess and have spent the last few months putting together their debut lp, and finally we arrive at 'Firstfloor'.

Starting off with the track 'Faith', featuring the vocals of fellow Bristolian Jokate (in fact, all the vocalists, band members and people involved in this, Starecase the band hail from Bristol), you may be wondering have they turned their back on the club tracks you know and love, but fear not, this will soon grab you by the balls as those vocals weave in and out of the beats being laid down. The pace takes more downbeat direction as 'Understand Me' draws you in and blisses you out. Trippy. The breakbeats return with force next as 'Second Time' powers through the speakers, its twisted bassline reverberating and expanding as the gnarly dominatrix vocal dropkicks you in the face, as the guys team up with old pal Omi to deliver what is probably one of the stand out tracks on the album.

Come In is more on the atmospheric side of things, filthy bass subtly wrapping itself around the sounds being laid down, whilst Stuck In The Middle is a darker, harder number with sinister vox samples and fierce beat patterns that back you into the corner and challenge you to fight back, letting you breathe a sigh of momentary relief as the strings kick in during the break. Fearsome. 'See' is a journey into the hypnotic, its simplistic beats being complimented by a quirky vocal from Charlie Newlands, another friend of the lads, who's vocal may appear odd at first, but this is a psychadelic number that will have you hooked or your money back.

Aishiteru (Japanese for 'I Love You') continues the psychadelic theme, verging into downbeat atmospheric dubby breaks to create a tripped out beat that will take you through the light fantastic into the electro rock of Bitter Little Pill, with former Spiritualised and current Lupine Howl frontman Sean Cook laying down some angst vocals against an awesome guitar riff. Anthem in the making. And now we have reached 'The Bitter End'.. a little outro that pays homage to the fans from day one.. where the beats rock the club .. and you are bouncing around to a dj set from the lads. Its like a journey back to Lakota or the far reaches of Miami and Japan and serves as a wicked end to the album.

So there you have it. A tour of the 'Firstfloor'. Hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to take the tour at your own leisure, and if you arent convinced, go watch the band performing live, and you will fully appreciate what the guys have tried to do in this 50 minutes of beats, treats and guitar riffs.

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