20 Essential NZ Releases
PACIFIC HEIGHTS 'In A Quiet Storm'
PACIFIC HEIGHTS ‘In A Quiet Storm’
Released in 2008 via Trutone Recordings
Review by Scott Kara for NZ Herald (September 2008).
Pacific Heights is the solo project of Shapeshifter’s flamboyant performer and production whiz Devin Abrams, but don’t expect the rousing drum’n’bass style of his main band. This time round, on In A Quiet Storm, there’s hardly a break beat in earshot as Abrams mixes up laid-back hip-hop, gently pulsing, and at times convulsing electronica, and lashings of smooth Kiwi soul. He’s helped out, especially on the latter, by well-known singers Ladi6 and Fat Freddy’s frontman Joe Dukie, and up-and-comers from his hometown of Christchurch, including the seductive mutterings of Mara TK on TK Funk. While the opening rap-cum-spoken word intro is a little twee, the album builds beautifully, moving from the lazy house music interlude Tamborines, to the moochy and clattery hand-clap laced Rockin, and then the beguiling pulse of Toylove.It’s predictable to call it a summer album but a song like Summertime, with its lovely ebbing bass, will have you dusting off those sandals in a jiffy. Abrams is a clever chap because few musicians can conjure up an album that’s as good for dinner time as it is for a late night outdoor dance party.