EP: CALIKA – Slack Jaw (Highpoint Lowlife 2009)

This is a tight little EP. Calika is Brighton based Simon Kealoha and he uses laptop trickery and considerable programming skills coupled with live bass to create a groove-based electronica that fuses elements of hip hop, jazz and math-rock.

Central to Calika’s sound are mashed up drum samples, and taut, simple bass lines. On “Oscar” this sounds almost like a stripped out rhythm section from a Polvo record, where elsewhere the beats are more chopped and compressed. Like in drum and bass, the essential rhythmic backbone is provided by the bass and some of the electronic overlay, leaving the percussion to wander loose and unleashed without sacrificing the essential groove.

“Gioconda” sees the drums cut up into an odd time signature while the electronics burble away in the background. When the bass comes in halfway through, it knits the elements into something redolent of Liquid Liquid or ACR. If there’s a criticism, some of the material feels a little dry, although the final track “To Hold You” with its sampled cello and scrambled feedback injects a bit of emotion into proceedings.

1 Slack Jaw 3:43
2 Oscar 4:47
3 Gioconda 4:17
4 Crome Yellow 3:54
5 To Hold You 3:51



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