Having never actually owned a time machine before, I am very grateful to Dutch trio My Baby for building one with which to whisk us away in. It’s a fascinating journey, though I’m glad and rather relieved to be able to view the ancient tribes from behind the safety and comfort of the shatterproof glass doors. Fittingly enough, the opening track here is called ‘Ancient Tribes‘, though I didn’t actually know this when I typed that second sentence out; I guess the music did the job it was supposed to then!
Sometimes, it feels like we’re visiting a world inhabited by long extinct dinosaurs, paying our respects, with our odyssey soundtracked by various blues musicians whom we have picked up, Bill And Ted style, along the way. Elsewhere, we have also persuaded the girls from TLC aboard to serenade us, or any number of one hit wonder dance acts from the 1990s. Not that Prehistoric Rhythms sounds remotely outdated – ironically enough it comes across somewhat futuristic instead, as tracks like ‘Electrified‘ pulsate satisfyingly along while the mesmerising beats and loops that infuse the likes of ‘Haunt me (Slight Return)‘ render us into trance-like zombies, willing to reciprocate to the stage hypnotist’s every beck and call. Thankfully, we are never snapped out of our catatonic stupor, and hence, even if said performer has made us dance naked in front of Mr and Mrs Goggins from number 52 at the local bingo hall, the likelihood is that we’ll never find out about it anyway.
Prehistoric Rhythms is perhaps at its finest in the most stripped down, bluesy moments, such as the fine ‘Straight No Chaser‘, which is a little like Michael Messer‘s ‘Lucky Charms‘, if Imelda May had laid down lead vocals. It may be a cliché, but that thing about the strength of an album being not necessarily about what you put IN, but equally what you leave out, is absolutely true in My Baby’s case. The sparse wooziness of the vast majority of tracks here is highly effective.
All in all, you could hardly call it a rollercoaster ride of thrills ‘n’ spills, but there’s no doubt that My Baby’s brand of road trip is a very pleasurable experience, and by the time we return to our own humble dwellings, we feel more relaxed than any spa weekend could ever realistically hope to achieve. And you can’t really argue with that.
Prehistoric Rhythms is out now on Glitterhouse Records.