“Wet Tennis” by Sofi Tukker – laut.de – album

high.de criticism

This unique work is hidden behind a slanted mask.

Review by Jakob Hertl

Crazy. There is no better way to describe Sofi Tukker in one word. Cover artwork resembling an LSD trip to the Bahamas, musical a dance-tech-house-pop-whatever mix and often Portuguese lyrics: it really is not normal – thank God! “That was it: I’m crazy!“Sophie Hawley-Weld sang in 2018. At the time, the German-born singer had been working with American DJ Tucker Halpern for four years.

The duo’s new album follows smoothly after the predecessor “Treehouse”. Starts with the intro number “coke“A western-style guitar and a simple electro house beat accompany the completely absurd lyrics, an ode to the tropical fruit persimmon. Because: why not?”I do not want pears, grapes, apples, pineapple. I want khaki./ I’m not Sofi, just a khaki./ I do not want to go, I do not want to take the train, not even a taxi – I take khaki.Mention a band that has ever wildly but passionately promoted a fruit.

Summer in New York“Suzanne Vegas samples” Tom’s Diner “- perhaps not quite as well as AnnenMayKantereit, but also quite remarkable. It becomes clear that Sophie can not only sing in her own way, but also has a sense of songwriting. It’s about a day in New York, special encounters and the beautiful coincidences that life sometimes brings with it.

numbers like “Inherited sin“,”forgive me“or”Keep“may sound like any other random dance number when you first hear it, but firstly it makes it incredibly danceable, and secondly, on closer inspection you always discover smart details or special features that make it all stand out from the crowd, such as oriental strings in “forgive me“.

Also the funky horns in the title track “wet tennis“is among them. They are accompanied by an uplifting disco beat, support the warm guitar in the bridge and together with the Latin percussions make the song a unique groovy piece. In general, one notices in some of the songs that Sophie used to live in Brazil and taught West African drumming in college.

Also in “Larry Bird“, exotic sounds like a steel drum or various whistles come into their own. Combined with the tech house beat, it results in a sound you rarely hear but would like to hear much more often. Sophie brings a lot of it with her, but Tucker is also equally influential on the record, such as the title “Larry Bird“, which refers to the legendary ex-NBA basketball player with the Boston Celtics. Tucker himself was a former basketball player and worked toward a professional career before illness forced him to take time off to pursue music production.

Overall, the record is far more personal than you might think. Granted, there are often strong messages hidden between texts about khakis and the like, which do not always have to be taken very seriously. For example, in the album title, which is not just about wet tennis (as if it was not crazy enough). It is also an acronym: “When Every one Thuge tISLAND Evolve Nthing Negative Is Ssafe.”

That’s what it’s all about: development, progress, hope. The album just spreads joy and optimism, we can all take that right now. These are short, often unconventional songs, but who cares? “wet tennis“is varied, Sofi Tukker can also make quieter music, which”intermission“and”The sun was rising” to prove.

The record brings together the unknown, but belongs together. Instead of the typical EDM greats or famous singers, artists are offered a platform that is not necessarily on screen, but which should be, as the African couple Amadou & Mariam at the absolute highlight of the album “Mon Cheri“. And”What a wonderful world“offers the perfect conclusion as an elegant counterpart to the electrolyte.

wet tennis“is far more than the apparent run-of-the-mill dance-pop. It’s a unique work hidden behind the weird mask. And it’s definitely crazy. But as they say: you have to be a little crazy to become normal in this world I am at least crazy – crazy about Sofi Tukker.

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