Ah, Hikoikoi! Pure craft. If you enjoy a finely composed piece of art as much as the obligatory ‘good tune’, Hikoikoi deliver. Like to hear complex jazz arrangements and technique played as if it’s the simplest skank? Hikoikoi.

I’m a fan of well thought-out instrumentation, saxophone as clear as lead vocal, drumlines and bass as groovin’ and smooth as the sweet backing vocals, keys and rhythm guitar from the same neighbourhood, all awash with just enough reverb to blend everyone together. Ah, Hikoikoi!

And don’t think you’ll be hearing an album of similar-sounding tunes. These guys are at as home with a driving, uptempo rockers feel of Blood in the Sand and Jah Armour as with the swampy super-skank of Children A Delight. For the introspective there’s the dark shimmer of Sudan Sun, and a dose of smooth groove in Too Hot to Work.

I’ve never really paid much heed to lyrics – you don’t need to be Shakespeare to write a good song. Hikoikoi evidence this throughout. But who needs verbal opulence with a drummer like Ben Wood? And his musical and production skill (he engineered as well) is more lyrical than many of the ‘poets’ of modern music.

To hear music that is so carefully composed; structurally complex yet flowing…this is the stuff of magic: the countless hours of time and skill that have been distilled into these nine tracks create a powerful elixir. Drink it down!

More info:
Hikoikoi myspace

Spin Zero