Review: Kerowack Revives London Acid House with The First EP

Undeground heroes shine on first EP, though with some questionnable revisions.

Posted by Michael Bordash on Mon Oct 22, 2007

Music News
Kerowack (duo of Dan Gerber & Saul Good), are one of the few modern electro artists that gets us really excited about the direction of our genre. Widely known for their Dirty Bumf and infamous White Dress music videos, Kerowack have collected a few of their singles and will release "The First EP" in the EU on December 3rd, and in the US on January 1st, 2008. The EP features some familiar singles that have been floating around for a few years-- surprisingly their greatest, "Dirty Bumf" is missing. That is unfortunate, as many had become familiar with Kerowack through this single, even more so by its retro-rollerskating music video. Without "Dirty Bumf", the story of the first EP seems incomplete.

"Dirtgrabber" is a great single and starts things off heavily with a ripped-up rhythm intro that grabs you by the balls; a meaty track with a tight beat and catchy synth hook. "Fuck Guitars" is a quirky anomaly that defies classification, although has merit as an experimental piece. Then there is "Keep it MOvin". Oh dear, where to begin. This track appears to be a re-make of their single "White Dress". Brushing away the schlocky, unintelligle Hip-Hop lyrics (perhaps someone's well executed idea for a joke), you can still appreciate the largely untarnished funk/house endearingly reminiscent of 70s porn/funk-- updated by the Kerowack masters, of course. This EP version, however, is a travesty; we demand "White Dress" be released from it's captors and restored to its creamy, fluffy state; handsome ransom gladly paid.

Moving on, it takes a good deal of perseverance to get through the opening of "Naf Monk"; the familiar version featured in the music video gets the ideas across masterfully compared to the re-worked extended version on the EP. This is still a decent track. "Joolz" features some great ideas; capturing exceptional downtempo synth-work. The problem is, it ended way too soon. I wish they'd have swapped some of those extra minutes in "Naf Monk" and used the time to expand on the unique movements captured in Joolz; or better yet, found a way to include "Dirty Bumf". "Harpooner" starts off strong, with a unique synth-pulse on the 1 & 3 beats. True to form, Kerowack are at the top of their game with this single, merging classic acid/house themes with unique synth leads, FX and breaks. It has an improvised feel to it, that proves a testiment to their musicianship rather than electronic music programming ability.

The EP is a great release, however those who follow Kerowack closely will notice a lot of changes from the originals we are familiar with, and the omission of "Dirty Bumf" seems like a glaring mistep. For the songs that were altered in this EP, nothing was gained; these were previously wholly completed underground gems. We hope that the "White Dress/Keep it Movin" disaster is not a harbinger of things to come for this truly unique duo. Hip-hop MCs definitely have their respectful place in the music idiom, just please keep them far away from Kerowack.

"The First EP"
Artist: Kerowack
Released: Dec. 3 (EU) Jan. 1 (US)
Label: Thunder Finger Records
1. Dirtgrabber
2. Fuck Guitars
3. Keep It Movin
4. Naf Monk
5. Joolz
6. Harpooner

Kerowack Music Videos
Naf Monk
Dirty Bumf
White Dress

Related Links
Official Kerowack Site

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