Coppé

Peppermint

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Featuring the Hawaiian-based vocalist with a variety of collaborators and remixers, most notably the avant-electronic duo Plaid, on Peppermint Coppé makes a good case for being her own icon of modern techno performer. She's somewhere between the intense singing style of various Arabic performers (check out some of the scales on "So Brillante" and "My Hard Boiled Egg Heart") and more soothing, evanescent vocalists. There's more than a little Euro-sleaze climaxing that the likes of Serge Gainsbourg would appreciate -- she certainly sounds like she's enjoying herself on "Vad," a collaboration with Vadim that has enough crackly sensuality to satisfy any modern lover. On many songs her approach is distinctly low-key, carefully providing shades and subtle gasps instead of stamping her personality on the song diva-style -- it's a blend with the music rather than making it secondary, and it often works very well. "Jon and Jeff and Jungle Curry," one of the Plaid collaborations, has her getting more lost in the mix (to beautiful effect) as the blend of light jungle beats and surging melodies grows stronger. At other points, she sings more conventional verses with a sly, almost '40s big band style, though with appropriate chop-ups and blends -- "Jelly Omelette" has a sudden chaotic break that merrily plays with her vocals (though it doesn't hide the sudden vicious bite of the line, "Basically, I'll kill you"). Musically, much of the album is reminiscent of mid-'90s progressive house and ambient, but if stylistically unfashionable, songs like "Sea Anemone" (in which Coppé shows some Elizabeth Fraser-influenced chops and swoops) still make for good fun. The energy level really only kicks in big time once or twice, on "240" and the slow but slamming hits on the Hitana-produced "Miso" and "Vicohico" (which also feature an amusing collage of samples throughout), but Coppé's calm singing makes for a relaxed counterpart.