‘Portsmouth’s 14th Best DJ’, Aldo Vanucci has a history of taking perfectly good songs and recastinging them as dynamite soul, here transposing Mavis Staples in a sci fi, hip hop horror.
Released as a 45 on Good Living in 2007, his cinematic re-imagining of the Kooks’ ‘Naive’ took the indie popsters downtown for a thorough going over from Mr. Tibbs. Along with female vocals from unsigned Londoner Amie J, Vanucci delivered brassy blaxpoitation drama – replete with sirens – and it is a credit it to him that it has been bettered only by himself.
Not the primary offering of latest EP Love Is… Loops, nor the fanfare, the haunted Northern ‘What Happened?’ is squirrelled away at number three of four, and even up for free download for the fastidious.
At the risk of gushing, it should come as no surprise to those initiated into Vanucci’s back catalogue that the whole clutch is of unquestionable quality – sporting, as it does, freshly pumped-up jazz funk with “The Ninth Bamboo” Kylie Auldist on ‘You’re All Show’, a hip hop collabo’ from latest, favouritest, favourite late HC discovery A.S.M. on ‘Take Me To a Party’, and the lushly bittersweet soulful goodbye of ‘Alone’. But it is this moody number three, this beguiling beast, that dispenses the tough love that keeps us keen.
Slow to reveal its true intentions, ‘What Happened?’ is all darkly off-kilter, eight-bit downbeat in the first instance. There’s just something about the unexpected horn stabs that leap out from behind our uncredited vocalist – and what a vocal – in the first verse that command attention, a harbinger of the monstrously mean chorus to come.
Once we’re into the reveal, the horror is realised: it is a potent and compelling potion, a beguiling spell, and we’re going to be playing this A LOT.
Right on for the darkness!