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Paper Tiger - Laptop Suntan

by AdamTait
AdamTait
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on 04 November 2013 in Albums & EPs
Record Label Wah Wah 45s
Rating 8/10

Loitering somewhere around the intersection of post-dubstep, avant garde electro and a UK hip hop scene reveling in the memory of grime, Paper Tiger’s debut Laptop Suntan is one of the most interesting records you’re likely to hear this year. But interesting can be a difficult thing to pull of in an album. More often than not architects of ‘interesting’ music need something in addition to keep their listeners engaged for the duration. In the case of Paper Tiger you immediately find yourself charmed by the band’s resident wordsmith Raphael Attar’s deadpan humour and deft turns of phrase. It takes a certain amount of balls to spend an entire track remembering a childhood love, rekindling and then - without breaking stride - tell the song’s antagonist “You’ve always been a cow/I hate you/And then I bounced” (‘The Sting’). But at the same time some of the record’s brightest shining moments are the neon-powered instrumental skits, like opener ‘Gundam Bling’ or ‘[You’re Here, I’m There]. It’s a fairly fearless - closing on reckless at times - blend of styles and musical interests that perhaps at times lacks the easily likable sheen of what’s going on elsewhere, but sometimes that superficiality is what falls by the wayside in favour of determined self-assured creativity. And the fact is you find yourself liking Paper Tiger’s music in a way that perhaps doesn’t apply to much of what’s otherwise gracing iPods. They carve themselves a niche in your music listening interest someway off from everyone else, and while at first that might make them seem like the socially awkward kid at the party, before long you see them as the aloof innovators everyone’s trying to be. If you're still not convinced you need only look at their list of collaborators - here and on the initial three singles - that includes Benin City's Joshua Idehen, Foreign Beggars and the immense Homeboy Sandman to realise that Paper Tiger are making their way to the forefront of alternative hip hop. 

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