There isn’t much about Coffee Garner that so much as whispers “headliner”. I can venture that – for want of a Wikipedia entry or an informative MySpace page – most of you reading this have never heard of the bizarrely designated Tuvaluan. Still, his latest album is a proverbial gem that’s worth the dedicated excavation it takes to unearth it from the DJ’s oceanic catalogue.
With the world remaining stubbornly entranced by ‘80s club-thumping retreads, Subprime Boogie steers well clear, offering instead ambient broken beats and strange back-alley sound explorations with not entirely undue detours into retro boogie and ‘60s Avengers-style soundscapes. While kitsch is an inevitable pitfall (or attraction if you’re so inclined) of such digressions, it’s presence on disco tracks like “Angst”, is distilled to a palatable patina. Opener “Get Out the Chaser” titillates the retro-obsessive with boisterous ‘60s celluloid snippets, while “I Pot Boogie”, with its distressed oboe soliloquy piercing through an echoey subterranean percussive soundscape is most enthralling. Despite its miscellany, the album achieves a certain timelessness in the way it folds anachronistic elements into a blend of freshly-cut beats. In this Garner is not unlike Thievery Corporation of their Mirror Conspiracy days. So far from being subprime, Subprime Boogie is laid on a solid foundation that is Garner’s production genius and crate-digging capabilities. Its closeted status isn’t doing anyone any favours.