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The Busy Signals | Busy Beats (Sidewinder Sounds)
"It's a headphone world / Everyone's on their own / I never feel alone / With my headphones on", soothes the first track on this gleaming gem of a pop record. Magnificently realised, 'Busy Beats' splices together an eclectic range of samples, drum loops and the like to create fourteen segments of shining, melodious serenity. A one man-band of sorts, The Busy Signals is the project of a Mr Howard W. Hamilton III, although a certain Mr Robert Schneider lends a helping hand on a few of these tracks. The songs here are gleaned from two previous recordings available in the US (Hamilton is based in Minnesota) - 'Baby's First Beats' and 'Pretend Hits'. The songs also incorporate bittersweet observations and some moments of wry, sardonic humour. Impressively, the laid-back charm is sustained through the record's entirety, it never lulls or falters; it never misses a beat.

Allie Roxburgh
CWAS #11 - Autumn 2002