Part two of the Scroobius Pip & Dan Le Sac “Listen To This” special. The first part (here) ended up like some kind of musical love in with all three participants gushing praise for the others choices… will it be any different this time? Surely someone will stink the place out, and pick Razorlight or Kasabian.
Don’t forget to check the Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip site for downloads, or visit Dan Le Sac’s Myspace for an inspired reworking of Gorecki’s Symphony No.3 re-titled “Sorrow” and while you’re there nag him to make it downloadable.
Don’t forget to leave a comment if you agree, disagree, or couldnt be arsed to read all the waffle and just skanked the MP3’s?
First up selection from Dan Le Sac:
LE SAC TRACK 1:
Buy: Vincent Oliver EP
Dan Le Sac: The first time i heard this track i was cooking dinner, i was making the finest omelette a man can make, cherry tomatoes, basil, garlic and this crumbly mature cheddar i like. i remember the omelette because i burnt it whilst trying to get myspace to rewind back a bit, to hear this line that had caught my ear, “…adjust to rest on your sweet breast and on your torso moreso…” It instantly made me feel right, the image in my head formed so vividly, getting out the bath and lying on the bed with the wife until you dry, contentment lifting your spirits.
The track lyrically and musically covers the scale of relationships, humble begins of the acoustic guitar, the excitement of the orchestra tuning up, then the layers and layers of emotive noise. When the track finally reaches crescendo, Im always amazed how that tiny melody survives amongst the wall of sound. All this noise, all these layers of texture, i find it difficult to see how a vocal could fit this track, but it does, each lyric spurs titbits of memory to life, so much so I’m never sure which memories are mine or which are Vincent Oliver’s.
MLD: Starting off with just a plucked guitar refrain this track builds oh so slowly, creating a palpable sense of tension as if the conductor was teasing and toying with his orchestra. Allowing each player a short turn, but still constraining them, until at four and a half minutes in he can hold them no more, and signals them to explode into a cacophony of noise. Each instrument, every string, ever horn lets loose in a glorious but very brief final crescendo.
How Oliver got this sound I don’t know… Im assuming that he didn’t hire the BBC Philharmonic, but instead like The Streets “Dry Your Eyes” has a very convincing orchestral sample CD. It would be good enough with just the orchestral elements, but Vincent subtly weaves in his vocal, with fantastic lines like “adjust to rest on your sweet breast“. Vincent Oliver will be playing Reading in October with both Scroobius & Dan Le Sac, and if there were ever a good reason to visit Reading this might just be it.
The EP on Lo Recordings offshoot Loaf comes in a gorgeous limited edition only 300 ever made hand stamped art board type thingy. Get it at Piccadilly records or dubfrog.
Scroobius Pip: As soon as the vocal comes in this screams Syd Barrett for some reason. Tell a lie, as soon as the layered vocals come in. I like the atmosphere of this track. The layers of sound seem to really build up a wall of sound but when you listen its isn’t a busy a soundscape as you might first think.
Lyrically again I’m still getting a “pipers at the gates of dawn” vibe which is nice, particularly with the recent loss of Mr Barrett. Its rare to be able to balance/pull off a sound that has this much depth but still manage to keep a relaxing/ambient vibe but i think Vincent pulls it off on this track.
MUSIC LIKE DIRT CHOICE 1:
Buy: Pre-order the new album “Your Mom’s Favourite DJ” from Amazon.
7 minute Koala documentary (You Tube) – a must see
MLD: My younger brother firmly believes that the key ingredients to me falling in love with a tune are wiki-wiki scratching, and most import of all a 1950’s continuity announcer intoning Mr Chubly Warner style “This is a journey into sound” type phrases. Its a by-product of growing up hearing a constant loop of Coldcut, Steinski and their ilk seeping from my teenage bedroom, and here comes Kid Koala to reinforce his unjust claim. Its a symphony of scratching, has multiple stiff announcers describing the “recording process” and yes I can confirm I absolutely love it!
It goes from 0-190 in zero seconds, cutting up an obscure (at least to me) rock track or two with abandon, before switching to French accordion music, and back to a heavy guitar riff. It makes me want to sweep the dust from off my turntables, and get scratching. Catch Koala live if possible, what he can do with just a mangled trumpet sample has to be seen to be believed.
Scroobius: Ive heard Kid Koala’s name knocking about for years but for some reason have always had the idea that he was similar to Nightmares on Wax and Chemical Brothers of whom I’m not overly fond. I was pleased and surprised to find however that i was loving this track right from the start. A thinking mans DJ Yoda. A drinking mans DJ Shadow. And far more appealing to me than both.
Superbly using genres not normally mixed and scratched and creating a compelling sound. As some one who has failed at every attempt to do any “real DJing” i am always in awe of people who can fuse genres that were never intended for such (kudos to Mr Le Sac in also achieving this. And Mr Dibbs. And DJ Abilities. damn you talented types). A great track from start to finish and some one i will be looking into more. The only worry i have is whether this sound can continue to keep interest over a full album. I look forward to finding out.
Dan Le Sac: Kid Koala is a cunt, a truly talented cunt, i hate him. He is a cunt because he’s got the ability to be a twidly self indulgent scratch Dj at the same time as being catchy and completely accessible. This track show him off to his best, moving from emotive vocal chops, to cheeky accordion silliness, to beats and cuts any Rapper would be proud to spit over.He is a master of his art, better than Qbert or Mixmaster Mike because he remembers to give us a melody, better than Dj Shadow because he remembers to give us a dancefloor, and better than Numark + Cut Chemist because he isn’t a rich kid, playing at hip hop with his head up his arse. Dope!
SCROOBIUS PICKS 1:
Visit: Jackamo Brown’s Myspace for 4 equally superb and totally free downloads, including “Lay Low”. Do it, no seriously!
Scroobius: Again, a track that holds its own with just guitar and vocal. To be able to stand out amongst the millions of “singer/songwriters” that have flooded the music industry since way before i was even concieved takes something special. Jackamo truly has something special. The raw quality should drag this track down but for some reason it doesn’t.
In a way i am drawn to the way that, due to the limited sound quality, the guitar piece and the vocal seem to flow as one and the same. The thing that i like the most about this track is that it isn’t by Jack Johnson, James Blunt, James Morrison or any of these other appallingly bland people that seem to be appearing with nothing more than a “J” at the beginning of their name and a mild knowledge of chords to qualify them to be forced upon my unwilling ears.
According to his myspace profile, Jackamo spent many years living on a mountain top, studying philosophy, writing and when temptation took him ruining Jason Donavon video shoots by plugging in the fop haired popsters guitar (ok I made up the last bit). I like it when an artist builds up a myth around themself, eg Jack White and his sister/wife, but it can fall flat on its face if the music doesn’t match up. Why exactly should I read this hokum when the music’s this bad!?
Thankfully “Prayer for Slow Death” is nothing short of brilliant, reminding me of the first time I heard James Yorkston, and more recently the genius of Micah P Hinson’s first album. Jackamos deceptively simple guitar perfectly compliments his wonderfully melancholic voice. It all sounds steeped in history and bitter experience, but was in all likelyhood recorded in a suburban back bedroom somewhere, and the first take was probably ruined when his mum shouted that the lasagne was ready, and his jeans were ironed. Personally I prefer to believe the story about philosophy and the Welsh hills… and the music stands on its own whoever and wherever it was created. Another top find for Mr. Pip.
Dan Le Sac: You only have two choices when it comes to acoustic singer/songwriters, cunts who my mum like, Blunt, Johnson, who’s that new one? The clone of Chris Martin, catchy soulless empty vacant pap that people buy because is so inoffensive that they dont even notice they’re listening to music, just white noise for middle class white people. Or you can choose people like Jackamo.
I’m a sucker for it, lifted straight out of gospel and bluegrass, “Prayer for slow death” is a superb record, something about it doesn’t sit right with his background, suburban life in the London commuter belt shouldn’t be able to produce such a pure sound, but it does, I didn’t realise Robert Johnson lived in Essex. The lofi guitar and solemn voice intertwine around bleak lyrics to form something truly beautiful.