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The Hunter
Kele The Hunter
Released 4 November 2011
Producer XXXChange
Label Wichita Recordings
Length 29:05
Genre Alternative, dance, electro
Website www.iamkele.com
84

A year after the release of his surprising and rather successful solo debut, Mr. Okereke sashays back from his N.Y. sojourn, with seven shiny new songs to boot. The Hunter EP is not a dramatic departure from Kele’s last offering, rather a development on his venture into dance.

Spankrock man XXXChange, who lent his mixing/producing skills to The Boxer, has kept his seat warm behind the decks, and along with classically trained vocalist and musician Lucy Taylor, makes for an interesting bedfellow.

'What Did I Do?' is the first single to be lifted from the EP, and is (cliché alert!) a classic dance floor anthem. With a throbbing bass line and shimmering vocals courtesy of the fabulous Ms. T, this track sweeps the former Bloc Party frontman far away from the shoe gazing shadows of the indie disco, and fist pumping his way onto the strobe lit tiles.

If floppy fringed fan boys are a tad nonplussed with the relatively mainstream leanings of lead single, they may be swayed by the New Orderesque choppy beats and synths of 'Devotion', which even in name sounds like a hacienda classic. 'Goodbye Horses', a cover of the Q Lazzurus cult classic is similarly retro in its approach, the anguished vocals almost succeed in drowning out the disturbing images of androgyny that the original had unfortunately seared into the collective consciousness.

'Cable’s Goodbye' inspires the title of the EP, as Kele, evoking the defiant mood of 'Prayer' declares, "I was born a hunter". It is however a slow burner, and follow up 'Love as a Weapon' similarly sits on the more experimental end of electronic music. "Desire gets you nowhere", whimpers Kele over rounds of gunfire, and swirling piano. He may be right, as 'Weapon', frustratingly never reaches a climax.

Just as well closer 'You Belong to Someone Else' jets off to someplace more satisfying. Washing up on the beaches of Jamaica, Kele indulges in his penchant for dancehall, before swerving into dubstep dementia. This is a glorious way to wind up the EP, and after Black Eyed Peas/ Rihanna et al’s rather frightening foray into the niche, it’s a relief that someone like Kele exists to flood floors with catchy and credible dance music.

- Deirdre Flannery