SINGLE REVIEW: “HUFF + PUFF” by Just A Band
by Couch Sessions
This joint right here is real sexy-like. Your body will automatically go into autopilot: your head will start boppin’, and you’ll break into a soulful yet swingin’ two-step (think of the Robert Palmer video girls…on speed). The very beginning of the song reminds me of Supernature-era Goldfrapp with heavy synths keys, some la-la-las, and a kick-ass boom-kick drum beat, followed by harmonic oooh-ing that subtly invokes spirituality. After a while, the song becomes more of its own entity and takes on an original persona reminiscent of no one but Just a Band.
This song just works for me. It makes my toes tap just enough that I could maybe burn a few calories without a whole lot of effort. The idea that this is an electronic band of Kenyans gives me much pause. It’s African music, but not that traditional tribal sound that you think about when you usually think of African music. This song could bump in pretty much any international lounge scene and wouldn’t be out of place. The synth work is impressive, and when they declare that they’re gonna “huff and puff and blow the house down,” you can hear an uncanny undertone of malice, joy, and swag in equal amounts.
The last time I can recall African music being this cosmopolitan was when Fela Kuti was popular, but that was in the 70s. Mind you, I am not that well versed in contemporary African music so there may be some real gems out there for me to dig up, but this right here is on some ole’ transcendental Afro-electro vibe. If this track is any indication of how they get down in Kenya, then I will definitely be checking for more music from there, as well as the rest of Africa.