Nathan Haines: 5 A Day (Warners)

 |   |  1 min read

Nathan Haines: Hidden Fortress
Nathan Haines: 5 A Day (Warners)

In a recent in-depth interview with Elsewhere, Nathan Haines spoke about how hard it was for him and his longtime producer Mike Patto to make this new album.

In comments we didn't publish there he said, “we were running up against deadlines and it took a massive toll on our lives”.

“I had to stop working because there were a lot of man hours in there. You read about your heroes' records – like Steely Dan's Gaucho where they imploded at the end – and we didn't want that to happen.

“We worked to deadline, sent the mixes away and I went on holiday. But the mixes were not right so then we had to go back and mix it again and [my wife] Jaimie was very pregnant at that time.

"Because it was his home studio, Mike's partner and baby had to stay up in London.

“We only just finished the record for CD and the vinyl copy has a different master and slightly different mix.

“Fortunately the vinyl had a long lead time -- a 12 week waiting list in the UK, it's so popular and that was through Warners who press in Germany.

“So that was good news.”

Now the album is out on both CD and vinyl, and it is a very different outing than his previous two.

After the old school jazz albums – the acoustic The Poet's Embrace and Vermillion Skies, recorded live in the studio and direct to tape – multi-instrumentalist Haines here reverts to the amalgam of sax'n'flute jazz, hip-hop and slippery dance which made his name 20 years ago with the Squire For Hire album.

This is a crafted, mature sound which sometimes refers as much to Chic and Sly Stone (the latter overtly on Count On Me) as it does the influence of beats from Marc Mac, or the 80s sound of Ernie McKone's funky bass (notably on Got Me Thinking and Mastermind) and the similarly referenced keyboards from Patto.

And with soulful vocals from Kevin Mark Trail, Vanessa Freeman, Jaimie Webster Haines, Patto and Tama Waipara deployed carefully, these eight songs across 45 minutes slide effortlessly between genres, much as Squire For Hire did back in its day.

But on material like the obliquely Oriental and delightfully ambient-soul Hidden Fortress (Haines on Indian flute, Patto on dulcimer) they also craft dance music for those who don't like getting off the couch. And, democratically, Haines slips in with sax, flute and trumpet so seamlessly as to never dominate.

Very smart and sassy album.

Can't wait for the remixes (P-Money is on the case), there's a wealth of detail in these layered sounds to work with.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Baio: The Names (Glass Note)

Baio: The Names (Glass Note)

Not to be confused with small-screen star Scott, Chris Baio -- bassist with Vampire Weekend -- here gets playful and poppy (the bright Sister of Pearl) with this debut solo album. It mines a... > Read more

Julian Temple Band: Quiet Earth (Oscillosonic/Yellow Eye)

Julian Temple Band: Quiet Earth (Oscillosonic/Yellow Eye)

Noticed how in action movies so few actors speak these days? They tend use an amplified whisper which has the effect of raising tension -- even when very little is happening. San... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

ALLIGATOR RECORDS 1971 - 2011: Four decades of brittle and often brilliant blues

ALLIGATOR RECORDS 1971 - 2011: Four decades of brittle and often brilliant blues

In his excellent book More Miles Than Money, subtitled “journeys through American music”, the expat London-based writer Garth Cartwright meets Bruce Iglauer who founded the Alligator... > Read more

Te Vaka: Havili (Spirit of Play/Triton)

Te Vaka: Havili (Spirit of Play/Triton)

Te Vaka have refined and defined a particular kind of pan-Pacific pop with its roots in tradition but driven by ringing folk-rock guitars as much as percussion, and on this melody-stacked album... > Read more