GILLES SNOWCAT – You’ve Been Unboxing Gilles Snowcat

Wee See Limes 2020

GILLES SNOWCAT –
You’ve Been Unboxing

Seeking thrills all around the world, Belgian artist takes rest in style.

One of the greatest things about following this auteur is not knowing where his pieces – and you, his listener – are going to land next time, because Gilles Snowcat is at home in any spot on the globe. In the last years, the singer has tasted, at least sonically yet physically too, Tokyo’s urban allure and the pull of New Orleans’ rootsiness – on, respectively, 2015’s GILLES SNOWCAT – Nama Time! and "Mardi Gras Station" from 2017 – but here the European pop-scene veteran seems to be spilling the beans about his Caribbean adventures. Still, there’s more to such an exotic experience than the album’s groove may suggest, as the nine numbers on display gel into a vague, if intriguing, concept.

It’s cinematic, albeit never abstract, cuts like opener “Let Me Buy You A Drink” – which zooms in from atmospheric soundscape to a predatory dance, spanked by bass and spiced up with guitar shred – getting to the point in a jiffy while leaving a lot of things unsaid, even though Snowcat’s melodic growls are quite intimate, never more so than on Keith Richards’ “This Place Is Empty” whose daydream balladry feels comfortable. Elsewhere, the sweet “Tiffany (The Festival Babe)” greases the reggae gears in most caressing manner, the stereo-panned skank behind “Squeeze ‘Em All” oozes erotica like molasses, as Gilles’ clavinet and organ engage in mesmeric swirl, and “(You’ve Been Drinking) My Limoncello” has rocksteady served in a hot way.

Further on, the dub-smeared epic “Hot Towel (From That Funky Hotel)” is sprinkled with exquisite ripples from jazzy piano to prevent one’s brain from connecting to the outer space, even though the prog-rock-tinctured instrumental “Tulips Trap (Grand Finale)” flows as cosmically as it gets for the record’s overall comical drift. Highly entertaining, the myriad of meanings on “You’ve Been Unboxing” can puzzle an uninitiated – and initiate anyone into the cult of Snowcat. Up for charting new territories? Hop on board.

****1/4

April 4, 2021

Category(s): Reviews
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