DJ Cam: Seven

dj cam, sevenDJ Cam: Seven
In 2005, I stayed in the W Hotel in Times Square. Sadly it was one of the best experiences of my life. As a memento I stole a CD out of the room (and by stole I mean took and was charged 20 bucks for). The CD was called W Hotels Warmth of Cool-Overture and it was populated by artists like Martina Topley-Bird, Thievery Corporation and Galactic. That compilation was the first place I heard France’s DJ Cam.
DJ Cam’s cool overture certain did make the W Hotel warmer. His music combines elements of downtempo, trip hop, and electronica into a solid relaxing blend. The same can be said for his latest album, Seven.
The album begins with the non-Mamas and the Papas “California Dreaming.” The track is a vast soundscape that remains largely instrumental save for a few samples of spoken word vocals scattered sporadically through the song. It is reminiscent of Moby‘s most relaxing work: electronic drums and string backdrop with light piano arpeggios laid on top.
Seven‘s second track and the album’s lead single, “Swim” creates a similar soundscape except this time vocals are added. The vocals are provided by Chris James. The addition of the vocals make the song a little more accessible to the mainstream audience making it a good single. I find, however, that the vocals take away from the track. The addition of vocals means that the track has to be more traditionally constructed to include verses and choruses rather than having a wandering track you can get lost in.
This tends to hold true for most of the vocalized tracks on the album. Since the tracks with vocals make up exactly half of the album, it does not leave Seven in great standings. The instrumental tracks are among some of the best trip hop tracks I have heard this year but unfortunately, the vocal tracks just don’t do it for me.
Rating: 6.3/10
MP3: DJ Cam “California Dreaming”
Buy: iTunes