Review: Heavenly Sweetness has described this sophomore full-length from genre-straddling musician/producer/vocalist Leroy Thomas as being like "Miles Davis meets the Beastie Boys". While that's partly accurate - several of the tracks blend hip-hop beats and crunchy rock guitars with jazz instrumentation and spacey electronics - Cliquish is awash with other influences, too. Some will hear the influence of the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the energetic funk-rock of "Asako", while "Mandy Jo" and "Snicka Bar" feel similar in sound and ethos to the work of Outkast and Plantlife. As for "Calm Down", it's classic soul-jazz with a smoky, contemporary twist. Yet for all the genre-fusing eccentricity, Cliquish holds together impressively, thanks in no small part to Thomas' distinct vision.
Review: Under the Tuxedo alias, Jake Dutton and Mayer Hawthorne have previously delivered two superb albums of revivalist boogie, disco and '80s soul for Stones Throw Records. For album number three - their first in two years - the pair has moved label, though musically it's business as usual. That means hot-to-trot early-to-mid-80s grooves, superb soulful vocals, colourful synthesizer motifs, rubbery slab bass and more club-ready, radio-friendly cuts that you can shake a stick at. Pleasingly there are plenty of high profile guests this time round, too; check, for example, the synth-boogie/rap fusion of MF Doom hook-up "Dreaming In The Daytime", the slow and seductive goodness of the Prince-ish "Extra Texture" (featuring Dam Funk) and the smooth but bustling "Toast 2 Us", where Dutch artist Benny Sings provides lead vocals. A triumph!