Available on: Prime Numbers 12″

Crikey, it’s difficult to take seriously – let alone fall in love with – an artist called Fudge Fingas. I mean, surely the last time anyone thought a name like that might be cotia was in 1997 or something?

Good thing his music’s pretty decent. An associate of Linkwood, ‘Fingas – real name Gavin Sutherland – appeared on the last Firecracker Recordings 10″ with the excellent ‘Situation Diminished’. Now he makes the leap to Trus’me’s Prime Numbers imprint for a three-track solo EP.

‘It’s About Time’ sets the tone, a mid-paced chugger that teams moody phased keys with a warm, buttery bassline, faded G-funk synths and tin-pot percussion. The cracked male vocal laid over the top won’t be to everyone’s liking, but I’m quite a fan – its kind of drunk northern gruffness offsets the smoothness of the backing, saving it from sounding like The Herbaliser, or worse.

Those vocals stick around for the more pacey future-boogie cut ‘Me & U’, Sutherland’s way with a Rhodes chord, not to mention his overall grasp of arrangement, bearing really strong fruit. There’s no jazz noodling, the groove is succulent but streamlined, and the melody is pure gold. Closing track ‘Mmm Hmm’ combines the vocabulary of dub-techno and with that of low-slung funk and Balearica; think Dam-Funk and Quiet Village working with MLZ, but not quite as good as that would be. Once again, it’s an addictive offering from Fudge Fingas; the sounds are robust, sensuous and always smartly placed. Even if the aesthetic of the project – right down to the cover art – is reminiscent of certain pre-milennial acid jazz atrocities, it’s not enough to poison my enjoyment of the music, and shouldn’t yours.

Ben Baglin

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