Record label: Giant Step/Quango-Palm Pictures
Format: 12"
Release date: 9 December 2001

These are the days when marketing companies get on my nerves. “Zero 7 is not the UK version of Air.” “Zero 7 is not chill out music.” Actually, Sam Hardaker and Henry Binns make very relaxing music (though certainly more involved and orchestrated than ambient) and much like Air, they straddle the fence between electronic downbeat and prog rock stylings. Can’t we just call a little fluffy cloud a freakin’ cloud already? Damn…

“Destiny” features the vocals of Sia Furler and Sophie Barker, ranging somewhere between a higher-pitched Esthero and the post-nasal drip tones of Nelly Furtado. I’m still trying to figure out what I find irritating about them. Maybe it’s the fact that most singers tend to work their way up to vocal acrobatics and one of these homegirls can’t wait to bust riffs first thing out the gate. You can tell she’s holding back. Maybe it’s because present-day R&B has got me fed up with crooners who can’t just SING THE DAMN SONG. However, is any of this a reason to place blame at the feet of Sia and Sophie? Probably not. They’re actually quite likable. And they sound so good on that chorus.

As for the remixes, the secret to Hefner’s success is all in the arrangement, which dresses the vocals to the nines. Classical strings and live drum and bass percussion help create an organic blend of sounds, right down to the steady shake of a tambourine. And if you’re still questioning my beef in regards to the vocals, check out the Photek remix. Placed over throbbing progressive house, Sia and Sophie become divas in training. Can’t you just see their index fingers wagging through the air Christina Aguilera style while they belt out notes? And another thing: I’m still not used to using the term “throbbing progressive house” whilst talking about Photek. Anybody remember when this man produced jungle? I’m talking earth rattling, martial arts scene-inspiring jungle, too. Sorry, but Photek in the land of “prog” weirds me out. Not traumatized or nothin’, just gimme a while…I’m sure I’ll get over it.

{chloe knuckles}

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