At the beginning of the review of last year’s Tapes compilation by British math rockers FOALS we asked “What would be the perfect mixtape?” We never really answered this question. Maybe because it’s impossible to answer it from an objective perspective. And Kele Okereke is clearly not interested in giving you a proper answer. With his very own mix for the !K7 label series the BLOC PARTYfront man provides his very personal view on that problematic. And after all it’s kind of hard to say where Kele ends and BLOC PARTY starts. Maybe one of the basic problems that might be a reason for the band’s current hiatus – which could also be definite.
BLOC PARTY might be dead for now but their lead singer is well alive. In the upcoming month Kele is planning to produce more music on his own and maybe also DJ a bit more. This might preserve us from another mediocre solo album like 2010′s The Boxer and opens up a few new ideas. Tapes might be both – the final chapter on the past and the first step into the future. Nothing is for sure yet but we clearly got a quite diversified and entertaining mixture of music with this one. Like previous participants of the series Mr. Okereke did not just create another ordinary dance mix. He took the concept of a mixtape quite serious, bringing in all the different influences he had over the past years.
And it’s quite a journey you’re taking on Tapes. The beginning is quite spherical with certain math rock vibes (DO MAKE SAY THINK), quickly switching over to some African vibes (TWEAK) before visiting the hip hop (WILEY) and UK garage section (WOOKIE). Yes, Kele seems to have a quite diversified mixtape. His exclusive new remix of Obscene, a track from BLOC PARTY‘s recent EP The Nextwave Sessions, starts the house music part of the mix. But it’s just a short trip since FELA ANIKULAPO KUTI is bringing back the African vibes. The rest of the compilations sees us visiting some oldschool techno vibes (LARRY HEARD) before finally resulting in deep and atmospheric ambient-like electronica by artists like VAGHE SHELL and KORELESS.
And at the end Kele Okereke clearly understood what it takes to create an interesting mixtape. Rare tracks, far away from the usual crowd pleasers, a diversified selection of genres and a lot of surprising twists and turns. The red line is the heterogenic selection of sound and it’s quite a joyful experience. This man is full of surprises and let’s hope we’ll hear more of this in the future. And we wouldn’t mind new adventures with his main band. Hope dies last.