Posts from 17th December 2000

17
Dec 00

29. ALL SAINTS – “Black Coffee”

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29. ALL SAINTS – “Black Coffee”

When William Orbit produced Ray Of Light, everyone I knew thought it was a bit of a chore – far more embarrassing than Maddy going techno was Orbit trying to recover his electronic touch after years spent cranking out flabby ambient wishwash. Silly us. Pop productions are still very much Orbit’s day job, but with this and the almost-as-delicious “Pure Shores” he struck that forgotten seam where electronica is invested with a wispy, dubby sweetness. (It used to be called ‘synthpop’ actually, but those were simpler times.)

Like “Pure Shores”, “Black Coffee” is a plea to freeze a moment (though these are moments in love, which gives it the edge over its more zen sibling, plus you can listen to it without Leo DiCaprio’s fat face intruding). The tools for achieving this are the Saints’ voices, as anonymous as satin sheets; a superbly smooth hook; and William’s arsenal of chubby bloops and warm valvey bass throbs. The song picks up threads laid down in the early 90s by Beats International, Saint Etienne, and Orbit’s own Bass-O-Matic – which would be more exciting if anyone else was following Orbit’s lead, and if Orbit himself was capable of more than two good productions a year.