Innovation isn’t about not following any of the rules, it is about knowing enough about the rules to understand which ones are actually important, which ones can be bent out of shape and which can be discarded all together. Ironically anarchy, especially musical anarchy, is a more organised place than it would have you believe! And if anything of what I have just said is true, it is to bands such as Phantom Phunk that it is most applicable.
A Week Ago keeps enough of the tried and tested hip-hop structural beats and pop grooviness to ground it sufficiently, allowing the band to really be able to play with the melodies and explore the musical textures which they proceed to hang on to it. The bass line pops along in a funky fashion matching the slightly staccato beat which gives it energy and to this they add sweet vocal harmonies and strange electronic inclusions. There is a sunny aspect to the melodies but rather than play and easy Day-glo vibe card, instead there is something a bit trippy and confused about it. It’s like the joy of being lost in a new place and just allowing yourself to revel in the dislocation and feeling of being slightly untethered.
Breaking the rules and blurring the lines is what Phantom Phunk does best, and here they add a sense of blissful confusion to the proceedings and the result is a song which is both slightly off kilter and bang on the money!