- 27 Feb 18
Stunningly eclectic effort from XL Supremo.
Under the aegis of his XL label, Richard Russell has worked with artists as varied as The Prodigy, The White Stripes, Adele and Radiohead. However, the label guru has also been carefully honing his own creative abilities. The result is this wildly eclectic collection of strikingly beautiful tunes, spanning trip hop, dancehall, reggae, funk and soul. In addition, the album boasts a suitably broad array of guest vocalists, including Peter Gabriel, Sampha and Syd.
With Russell’s origins in British club culture never far from the surface, the heart of Everything Is Recorded is its devotion to soul music. Even if a couple of the tracks are a little under-developed, the record’s variety, experimentation and sonic sophistication immense. And though the album undoubtedly has Russell in the role of auteur genius, the sundry contributors are essential to its potency.
The best songs offer rich reflections on the history of various genres: ‘Wet Looking Road’, featuring Giggs, references Keith Hudson’s gorgeous reggae track ‘Darkest Night On A Wet Looking Road’; ‘Close But Not Quite’ features Sampha whilst sampling Curtis Mayfield; and ‘Cane’ is an icy, minimalist cover of Gil Scott Heron (famously, another prior Russell collaborator). Moments of magic like this make the album a truly special experience.