Gelka Less Is More Review

Album. Released 2008.  

BBC Review

Find of chill out may find this the kind of soporific fix they are looking for.

Chris White 2008

It's probably fair to say that Hungary is better known as the home of goulash, Franz Liszt and the Rubik's Cube than for its dance music scene. And after listening to Gelka’s debut album, you could be forgiven for assuming the creators hail from the Balearics rather than Budapest, so effortlessly does the music here epitomise the kind of pleasant but bland fare served up by endless Ibiza-themed chill-out compilations over the last 15 years.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Gelka (named after Hungary's erstwhile state-owned electronics repair service, in case you were interested) first surfaced five years ago on a Café Del Mar album and it's not hard to see why the duo has appeared regularly in the series since. Lazy beats, languorous Groove Armada's At The River – style horns and relaxed, ever-so-slightly funky guitars dominate here, with the occasional mildly soulful vocal thrown in for good measure, mostly courtesy of Ghanaian-born chanteuse Sena.

The not exactly typically Magyar-named Alex and Sergio of Gelka are now signed to Nightmares On Wax's DJ Ease’s Wax On label, but there's very little of the Yorkshire band's eclectic experimentation in evidence on Less Is More. Most tracks just meander along quite pleasantly; the odd sliver of gentle melody here, the occasional toe-tapping rhythm there, with respectful nods to Kruder and Dorfmeister and Air's Moon Safari flitting in and out of the ! mix.

Gelka's few attempts to branch out from their tried and tested sound are decidedly mixed. Burlesk's skewed, stoned oompah band vibe brings some welcome quirkiness and individuality, but final number Tea Kettle's Dream is a baffling 21st century reworking of Pink Floyd's thankfully largely forgotten 1970 curiosity Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast, closing proceedings with a pointless and unfunny collage of snoring and kitchen appliance noises. What went before was hardly groundbreaking either, but fans of the now rather tired chill-out genre may find Less Is More is more or less the kind of soporific fix they are looking for.

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