EP review by KevW
If you've been enjoying the smooth grooves laid down by Twin Shadow across the course of his two albums, and if you've had the pleasure of catching him live, then you might just have been bopping along to the bass work of Russ Manning. Now venturing into the big wide world of music with his solo project Rush Midnight, Manning is proving a dab hand at taking the dodgy aspects of 80s pop and making them sound far better than they did the first time around. Manning began demoing tracks while travelling the world with his mate's band, and a couple of the songs on his debut EP '+1' are produced by Twin Shadow, and they definitely share a common musical ground. Funk-reggae sounds like an appalling concept until you hear 'Dreaming Of An Island', a prime example of how a modern approach and some decent writing and production can be invaluable and lead to surprising results.
It's not the only aspect of this EP that looks bad on paper but in actual fact works just great; these songs might incorporate aspects of chillwave and electro-pop, but there's also an awful lot of slick production and slap bass, something the taste police outlawed back in about 1986. Somehow Rush Midnight drags them back and doesn't sound like a tosser trying to be Level 42. 'The Night Was Young Enough' is classy and alternative alt-pop put through a misty-eyed filter, it's even got a bloody bass solo yet it's really rather good. The chilled, spacey groove of 'Crush' is another update of pop disasters that sounds far better than it has any right too and the Doe Paoro-featuring 'What We Had' is The Police at their most disgustingly funky turned into a thoroughly decent pop record. It's difficult to describe this EP without referencing people who've committed crimes against music, but these tunes are great. Rush Midnight: righting pop's wrongs since 2012.
Rush Midnight's website
The '+1' EP is available on October 30th from Cascine Records
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