If you know Chef you’ll know I love the Etienne, so I was excited to find that Foxbase Alpha, their debut, has been re-produced by Richard X to become Foxbase Beta. I got a copy at their Shepherds Bush show, along with a great black and white tee with the original Alpha text on it – they’re on their shop.
Beta starts with a taxi ride to 1990 that goes via the classic Only Love Can Break Your Heart, complete with a new bass that shivers like a forlorn teenager at a bus stop. Soon after, Carnt Sleep is hauntingly orchestral and builds into an epic, before She’s The One and Girl VII bring the rave side of the album out, treating us to an unforgettable roll call, on VII, of London places and global destinations – ‘Sao Paulo, Boston Manor, Costa Rica, Arnos Grove’.
Later, Spring and Nothing Can Stop Us Now go from optimistic to delerious and then the triumph that is Like The Swallow materialises. With a space age build up and choir singing over a marching beat, there’s something about it that reminds me of the digital feel of the Eagle video by Abba. It swirls into an electronic odyssey then disappears as quickly as it started. Magical. Chef’s Kiss!