Subtle are a 6 piece collective from San Francisco and are formed around two core members known as Doseone (one of the founding members of hip-hop label Anticon) and Jel. Their second album follows on from "Earthsick" and once again we see the group produce an album that subtly merges the ambience of Tortoise and Weevil, the beats and drum loops of DJ Shadow and Kid Koala with Doseone's amazing vocal acrobatics with breaks and spoken words faster than a ferret on a ferris wheel.
"A new white" is a more ambient affair than "Earthsick" but Subtle stick to their guns when it comes with producing an album that captivates and draws landscapes in one's mind. The sounds of the cellos, samplers, woodwinds and synths are delicately laced together on each track whilst Doesone's beat and lyrics are personal and carefully sewed into the fabric of the record.
"I [heart] LA" is Weevil giving Mercury Rev a ride in the back of a battered old pick up back with Saul Williams providing the in-car entertainment. The use of country acoustic guitars with a funky drum loop compliments the track well and if you can actually make out Doesone's words the melancholic lyrics adds to the feel of the song. "The long vein of the law" is more up beat affair with a bopping drum beat and more emphasis on the synths and melodica the songs a more jumpy affair. Whilst "FKO (Fuck Kelly Osbourne)" is a stab at the talentless pork chop and the media gets credit for just the context.
If you've never heard of Subtle but like want to hear something a little bit different then a new white will be the perfect Christmas present for you.