Thanks to Truants blog for this deep and insightful review:
It’s rare that we here at Truants would write about the same artist twice in the space of a week, but sometimes it’s just inescapable. Fresh from the release of the “Routes” album with Joshua Idehen, London trio LV have dropped another gem in the shape of their collaboration with folk artist Message to Bears and singer Zaki Ibrahim. The release, with one original and three remixes spread over two 12″s, is the most intriguing and rewarding set of singles I’ve heard this year. After LV and Zaki hooked up in the studio in South Africa, 2nd Drop Records, who previously put out LV’s “Don’t Judge” in 2009, made the inspired decision of drafting in Oxford folk act Message To Bears. The result is almost as if The Album Leaf or Efterklang added a stripped-back palate to a spaced-out London ting. ”Explode” is many things. A jagged, chunky scratch-like effect is complemented with a simple four-note piano phrase and a lilting, rising string line. Zaki, meanwhile, sings of how she has “shoulders in Burma, my feet are Creole”. Throughout the track her vocals drift in an out at different levels, almost as if she’s singing to distant versions of herself. All the while that simple piano phrase grows and fades, builds and dissipates. At little over three minutes, it’s a track that never outstays its welcome – in fact, like some of the tracks on “Routes”, you just wish it wouldn’t end. In a way, however, that’s something that makes this release special, as I’ll explain later.