Snegiri Music Company, 2011
REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 02/03/2012
Cheese People isn’t shy when it comes to being loud and brash. The clobbering beats and boisterous synthesizers on the band’s self-titled debut makes for music that is not fit to be played on any occasion other those that involving high adrenaline. The blaring siren-like opening sound on “Boombasters” would wake anyone up. But in a state of panic is what this record is all the time, almost like an audio-version of an insane strobe light party.
The album is an absolute blast and sounds like a product conceived at a party of severely inebriated bacchanalians with extremely short attention span and gifted music sense. The cuts on this record are quick and short. But unlike tight pop songs, these numbers are chaotic and unpredictable. The funk-rap medley of music on this record, with its hard-hitting loudness and an atmosphere of utmost revelry, makes for some very fascinating dance music.
Despite of the album’s weirdness, it is pretty catchy. The secret is its brilliantly produced sound. This album has the undeniable quality of one birthed by a chichi London DJ. It is impossible to fathom that this is in fact a self-produced work by an obscure band from Samara, Russia. The only thing that gives it away is lead vocalist Olya Chubarova’s accent and her (sometimes) funny “English” lyrics, which add a mischievous smirk to the band’s “whatever goes” attitude. Chubarova is a total chameleon. She does her frail squeaky vocals with as much gusto as her “tough woman” impersonation, and convincingly sounds like two different vocalists.
With the album’s massive synth-driven aggressive sound, there are plenty of “Prodigy” and “The Chemical Brothers” moments. But Cheese People is not fearful to step out of their synth-bubble. They dusts off their guitars and drums and plays funk the old-fashioned way on “Catch U,” “Moon” and “Eats Your Popcorn,” bass, percussion, and all. There are plenty more non-synth cuts – “Wake Up,” “Tibet+6++,” “Down & Down” – as the group keeps reinventing itself through the album’s short span. This record seems so inadvertent and careless that it is a surprise that it is a gem comprising of so many complex layers.