Joe Goddard - Harvest Festival

Shows the young ’uns how it’s done in fine style
Joe Goddard - Harvest Festival
If the name doesn’t ring a bell, the record label should, for Joe Goddard is the beardy fellow from Hot Chip, here giving his independent musical urges space to unfurl.

Released on his Greco-Roman label, with curious fruit themed song titles and the album’s title, you might fear some kind of concept album being offered up, but rest easy listeners, as Joe explains: “when making instrumental dance music, titles are often really meaningless anyway”. Taking lessons learnt from playing around the globe with his Greco-Roman Soundsystem, never mind the Hot Chip years, the twelve tracks here are roughly paced as for a night’s dancing, channelling Goddard’s expertise as DJ, and fan, of electronic music.

Just two of the tracks contain any kind of vocal, the robotic loop, “..and bullshit, and party, and bullshit, and party” of ‘Go Bananas’, and the more recognisably Hot Chip-like delivery on ‘Lemon And Lime (Home Time)’. Beginning with the luxurious, bubbling analogue synths of ‘Apple Bobbing’, it’s a low key but high quality opener before ‘Tinned Apricot’ continues things nicely and ‘Pear-Shaped’ offers up a more obtuse rhythm before the sweeping bassline of ‘Strawberry Jam’ makes itself known, moving the album onto the dance floor.

The aforementioned ‘Go Bananas’ keeps things moving before ‘Half-Lime Oranges’ gets all melancholic leading us into the vocal ‘Lemon And Lime (Half Lime)’. ‘Tropical Punch’, ‘Sour Grapes’ and ‘Pineapple Chunk’ go for a minimal approach, leading into ‘Mango Chutney’ (I warned you about the titles didn’t I?), perilously syncopated beat and album closer ‘Coconut Shy’’s blissful slow motion descent.

Given Greco-Roman’s peerless catalogue the pressure was on but the label boss shows the young ’uns how it’s done in fine style.

7/10

Words by Nick Annan

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