Thursday, 31 January 2013

Scruffy

I've got some time to kill, and its come to my attention I've only posted Mr. Scruff's later work. So today I'm going to correct that a bit, with some slices from his debut album that was originally self titled, but was cleverly reworked for it's re-issue into Mrs. Cruff. Tracks and more after some of the Scruff man's charming art.


We have the fittingly titled Jazz Potato to set us up. It has the distinction of being one of the first Scruff tracks I heard along with Get A Move On. While having the Jazzier edge of his later work, there is a clear lean towards the beats and bassline side of things, something that will become more prominent in a bit.



This one's a bit more explicit with the beats and basslines angle, saying that there is still liberal use of jazzy samples and other bits and bobs to keep it fresh, hence the title. There's a wealth of material on his debut LP, the re-issue only has 2 tracks out of twelve with a run time less that 5 minutes, which can make it a bit difficult to listen through the whole thing in one sitting.




And finally we get to the meat of my point, there a few tracks like Limbic Funk in Scruff's later LPs, and the same applies to earlier tracks like Sea Mammal and Bass Baby. It does make the few that there are wuite nice to listen to tough, so enjoy. Fun Fact: according to the liner notes; Scruff's debut required little to no mastering when he sent it off, and is pretty much pressed as-is.



And finally, I thought I'd share a little gem I came across the other day, taken from a Japanese compilation of remixes of the Cowboy Bebop OST comes this. There were some interesting ones on there for sure, including one from AFX's long time chum Luke Vibert, but Scruff nails it once again. It probably helps that the OST was pretty Jazzy to begin with, Scruff certainly had fun with this one that's for sure.



Arms, Legs, Everywhere!
- Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 28 January 2013

In The Garage

Hey all, I'm here browsing my FB feed on the first day of my week off, when I notice that Philestine's been hard at work on his soundcloud, making two sets titled 'Housey' and 'Garagey' that I gave a listen. 'Housey' is mostly made up of stuff I've posted from Moo Fire, but Garagey is where its at. More on that after the art.

Art by Kid Acne, for French rappers TTC

Now, I haven't listened to UK Garage since I was a little Foxbat in the late 1990s, and I know there's future garage floating around but I haven't heard much of that either. But I do know that Philestine's take on it is pretty sweet indeed.



This one's named after an old school 60's TV show that re-ran on the BBC for a lot of my childhood. There's no trademark Stenchman sampling of the TV show in this one though, understandably since he's looking to put some distance between his Stenchman work and this newer stuff but there is still a little bit of the Stench there in the subtle change of the title to Kangamoo.



As he promised, there's a lot more chill stuff coming from his camp these days, and out of the entire set this is probably my favourite thanks in part to them glitchy sounds scattered throughout. It's a shame it's only a cut sample for now, I'm lookin' forward to hearing the full length when it drops!



Hidden Among Leaves,
-Claude Van Foxbat

Friday, 25 January 2013

That We Can Play

Speaking of themes, another one happened to swing by my way today as I was on suffle as usual. It involves the now defunct Daniel Lopatin (AKA Oneohtrix Point Never) and Joel Ford side project Games. It's their foray into more chillwave-y stuff and its actually pretty good. Aside from the bad, bad album art, though after seeing the rest of the 12" sleeve I reckon its intentional.


Anyway, back to themes, kicking it off we have this lovely intro by Esc 不在 an artist I picked up on my vapourwave travels. It makes liberal use of that Windows 95 start-up sound crafted by ambient pioneer Brian Eno (ironically recorded on a mac) that I half remember from my school days in the IT lab. Hearing it remixed like this brought the waves of nostalgia like no other.



Which brought me back to the Games EP, Specifically the remix by Gatekeeper. It had pretty much the same effect thanks to that brilliantly placed PlayStation sample, it actually merges quite well into the song and doesn't feel forced at all. There's also a Boards Of Canada sample lurking in the background on this one, see if you can spot it.




And just for the hell of it, some more slices from the Games EP, including the brilliant original Strawberry Skies that pulls off the feel that Games is all about in spectacular fashion. Like the entire Electroclash scene before, it's got that retro-futuristic feel to it like it wouldn't sound out of place about 30 years ago or in 2010 when it was released. Only complaint is that it feels a bit short, but that is a small price to pay.



This one really brings out the Oneohtrix touch from a gear standpoint, real echoes from some tracks off Rifts here. It also fills in that retro-futuristic niche quite nicely despite being completely instrumental aside from a few cheeky vocal snips in there.



And finally, my favourite. The intro sounds a little bit out of place at first, sounding more than a little like The Prodigy's Everybody In The Place (155 And Rising), but it soon falls into place with some brilliant sampling courtesy of Secret Service's Flash in the Night. Given the Games chopped & screwed treatment it pretty much embodies chillwave's sound, full of half remembered 80's songs.



Black Disc,
- Claude Van Foxbat