Necessary Measures

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Pest is a pesky band to pigeonhole, making it far better to simply discuss what they do than try to fit them into a scene or style. The southeast London quintet record up-tempo breakbeat, with frequent solos on a jazz fusion tip and an intriguing ability to replicate the energy of hip-hop in the context of a (mostly) live band. The opener is a bit disappointing, overly reliant on a recurring string nightmare that never progresses, but the rest of the record is immensely enjoyable. A few of the tracks have vaguely scruffy trip-hop noodlings (listen to "Jefferson Shuffle"), but Pest also work in the territory of killer grooves ("Heard Yer Bird Moved In," "St. Pest"). Similar to Super Numeri, another Ninja Tune contemporary, Pest also prove immensely proficient at courting the thinking-man's chillout crowd, with abstract, atmospheric cuts like "Dr. Umz." It all makes for a fascinating listen; just don't try to peg this one.

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