Friday, 17 May 2013

Papaya - Tennis

The Kythibong label is shaping up nicely for a serious stab at the accolade for best album of 2013.  Barely had I had a chance to digest fully the excellent release from The Healthy Boy & The Badass Motherfuckers (reviewed some time ago on this blog) than I received the second album from Papaya.  Not being familiar with what the first one sounded like, I had few clues to what to expect which is always the best way to approach anything.

Now, having had time fully to appreciate the lavish brilliance of this second album - which goes  by the rather unrevealing title of Tennis - I now find myself wishing I did know what the first release sounded like.  But not yet, because for the moment Tennis gives me quite enough to be going on with.  

Generally speaking, it's an album of instrumentals, but these are not instrumentals of the kind offered on the recent Antony Harding album (also reviewed on this blog) or those sweeping, guitar-led masterworks proferred by the much-loved Matt Stevens, Tom Sanderson and others.  No, these are instrumentals of an entirely different ilk altogether - where those other artists are smooth, Papaya are decidedly jerky; where they, at least in places, sooth, Papaya are about as soothing as something dragging their nails down a chalkboard, if rather more satisfying to listen to; where those other artists can quite easily make me happy by providing a neat backdrop while I do other stuff, Tennis demands attention in the way a torturer demands answers.

Not that the experience is comparable with that of torture.  If it were, I wouldn't be reviewing it here and nor would I, at the end of the album, be eagerly seeking to listen to it again.  I've since found out that Mric, who kindly keeps me up to date with what his fabulous Kythibong label are up to, actually plays in this band, which only serves to make me even more excited about what this excellent label might have for us next. 

You can hear 'Grapes' from the album in my May show on Dandelion Radio.  It can't really be said to be represenative of the rest of Tennis because it's got vocals on it, but then as this is an album that delights through its ability to deliver the unexpected, it's probably as good a place to start as any,

Get it and other Kythibong releases here.  If you've not done so already, I'd strongly recommend you check out that Healthy Boy album and much of the rest of their back catalogue while you're at it.


  1. yes ! with the same drummer of Jagwar Pirates, Pneu and Futuroscopes !

  2. I didn't know that. Massive fan of Jagwar Pirates - I'll definitely check out those other bands.