Choose Your Weapon

Choose Your Weapon

by Hiatus Kaiyote
     
 

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When Tawk Tomahawk was picked up by Salaam Remi's Flying Buddha, the label added a bonus version of "Nakamarra" -- the album's most direct, traditional song -- with a Q-Tip guest verse. The young Australian avant-R&B quartet needed it more for visibility than for credibility. The move worked, at least with

Overview

When Tawk Tomahawk was picked up by Salaam Remi's Flying Buddha, the label added a bonus version of "Nakamarra" -- the album's most direct, traditional song -- with a Q-Tip guest verse. The young Australian avant-R&B quartet needed it more for visibility than for credibility. The move worked, at least with Recording Academy voters, who nominated that version for a 2014 Grammy in the category of Best R&B Performance. Tawk Tomahawk provided a lot to absorb in its 35 minutes. In some ways -- literally, for example -- Choose Your Weapon is twice the album. Seventy minutes in length, it can be split in half and taken as two volumes that surpass what preceded it. The band refines and broadens its attack. From track to track, one ingenious idea trails another. Vocal melodies and guitar wriggles sneak up and tickle the ears, burbling electronics mingle with spiny acoustic guitars, time signatures abruptly switch and stun. Considering five fragmentary interludes of varying consequence and so much nonlinear structuring within the proper songs, Choose Your Weapon isn't always easy to follow. The lyrics of athletic vocalist and guitarist Nai Palm, dizzying on their own, mix natural, supernatural, and technological subjects and are delivered in an array of styles. She gets more personal on late 2014 A-side "By Fire," a burial song inspired in part by her father's house-fire death. Its significance is easy to miss through the battle-theme opening, frenetic mass of swirling/zipping synthesizer action, and octopedal drumming. As out-there as the material gets, rich highlights such as "Laputa," "Borderline with My Atoms," and "Breathing Underwater" are thoroughly winsome, cast in warm light. Progressive-eclectic DJs like Gilles Peterson, Garth Trinidad, and Carlos Niño could not have dreamt them up. Within the context of a playlist, any one of a dozen songs here could bridge '50s bop to '60s MPB, or '70s art rock to '80s boogie, or '90s neo-soul to 2000s dubstep. Equally remarkable is that none of it seems devised. It's like these musicians simply radiate the stuff.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/04/2015
Label:
Masterworks
UPC:
0888750624826
catalogNumber:
506248
Rank:
11477

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Hiatus Kaiyote   Primary Artist
Miguel Atwood-Ferguson   Strings
Salvador Persico   Percussion
Phil Binotto   Percussion
Adam King   Percussion
Simon Mavin   Percussion,Keyboards,Vocoder,Group Member
Perrin Moss   Bass,Percussion,Drums,Keyboards,Group Member
Nai Palm   Keyboards,Vocals,Group Member
Paul Bender   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards,Group Member

Technical Credits

Salaam Remi   Executive Producer
Roxanne Slimak   Art Direction
Federico Ruiz   Graphic Design
Laura Kszan   Product Development
Jennifer Liebeskind   Product Development
Miguel Atwood-Ferguson   String Arrangements
Hiatus Kaiyote   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer
Nai Palm   Artwork
Paul Bender   Programming
Laura Christoforidis   Cover Design,Formatting
Laneous "Lame-boy" The Lunchboxer   Cover Art

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