The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC - JIM CAR­ROLL

Friendly Bac­te­ria Ninja Tune ★★★

There’s a cer­tain short­hand when it comes to Andy Carthy, which has stood him in good stead for most of his ca­reer. The Scruff tem­plate in­volves bouncy, off-kil­ter sounds, from disco to reg­gae; cartoon potato people and a fond­ness for tea pro­vide the vis­ual props. Here, on his first al­bum in some five years, Carthy veers ever so slightly and subtly away from such well-cov­ered ground. There are guest turns from vo­cal­ists De­nis Jones, Vanessa Free­man (pro­vid­ing a soul­ful ve­neer on Come Find Me) and Robert Owens (su­perb on the garage-in­debted He Don’t), but Carthy’s own machi­na­tions are also wor­thy of note. There’s less of the sea­side pier hu­mour that coloured pre­vi­ous re­leases, with the dark, dubby pull of Stereo Breath and the wonky, in­ven­tive funk of the ti­tle track just two ex­am­ples of the new Scruff ap­proach. A very dif­fer­ent cup of tea. Down­load: He Don’t, Stereo Breath

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