Fimber Bravo


(Moshi Moshi)

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Steel drums are currently having something of a "moment" among that section of the UK's indie fraternity who seek old ways of making new music. The xx featured them on Coexist, and Damon Albarn has long been a booster for George "Bongo Joe" Coleman, a 1960s Texan street performer who rapped while clattering upturned oil barrels. Now comes Trinidad-born Fimber Bravo, a founding member of The 20th Century Steel Band, whose unlikely break came on TV's New Faces show and whose 1976 debut album has been sampled by everyone from Jennifer Lopez to LL Cool J. More recently he has recorded with Blur and Hot Chip, whose singer Alexis Taylor guests on this winning confection of steel drums and moody electronica, the latter provided by Glasgow producer Johnny Wilkes of Optimo fame. The collaboration with Taylor, The Way We Live Today, is the stand-out, but from the Afro-jazz of Dimbaya to the samba beat of spectral closing track Sinner Man, there's nothing here that isn't fascinating.

Barry Didcock