“Art Is A Cat” is The Dining Rooms’ eighth studio album – thirteenth if we also consider five remix and rework records – in over twenty years of career. It comes out five years after the fully instrumental “Do Hipsters Love Sun (Ra)?”, and shows itself as a new milestone in the artistic path of the Milanese duo formed by Stefano Ghittoni and Cesare Malfatti.
In fact, “Art Is A Cat” hosts every facet of The Dining Rooms’ music, mostly nourishing the intuitions delivered in past albums such as “Experiments in Ambient Soul” (2005) and “Ink” (2007). It preserves all the characteristics of their typical signature: songs balanced between folk and soul, dub expansions, instrumental hip hop and cinematic atmospheres. Not to renounce to any of these aspects and given the high quality of the recorded material, Stefano and Cesare decided not to sacrifice anything, and wrote and produced a 19-song full-length for a total duration of about sixty minutes.
“Art Is A Cat” also hosts a large group of guest singers, both historical voices of the band and absolute novelties, who also co-wrote the lyrics; the vocal parts are interspersed with the group’s instrumental classics, from funk-fueled visionary downtempos to more experimental micro-songs.
Sean Martin and Georgeanne Kalweit therefore return with two songs each (one of the two sung by Georgeanne has its lyrics written by Jake Reid, a London-based singer who already collaborated with The Dining Rooms in “Lonesome Traveler” in 2011).
Among the new entries we have, first of all, the Italian-Moroccan Rahma Hafsi on the sensual ballad “Little Girl” sung both in English and Arabic, while the very young Italian-Salvadoran Beatrice Velasco Moreno sings, together with Sean on backing vocals, the spoken-word “Teach Me To Dance”, the spiritual “Sweet Love” and the title-track, an orchestral folk moment among the most inspired ones in the entire band’s history; Lola Kola, queen of Tropicantesimo, also brings an absolute novelty in the world of The Dining Rooms, presenting for the first time an Italian-sung piece: “Nella Sua Loca Realtà”, a post-melodic song dedicated to the fragility of love.
The vocal parts series ends with two episodes in which Stefano resumes his past as a singer (in the ’80s with Peter Sellers & The Hollywood Party) with the Indian-flavoured “Ohm And Raga” and the existentialist ballad “She Says I’m Bad”.
“Art Is A Cat” is therefore a complete and very fascinating album, destined to excite and leave its mark.
Available as double LP, CD digipack and digital.