October 28th, 2009

Blockhead – The Music Scene – out november 2nd, 2009

New York hip hop producer Tony Simon aka Blockhead returns with his third and best instrumental album for Ninja Tune.

Blockhead has long made beautiful, emotive music based around the hip
hop template, but on “The Music Scene” he elevates his craft to another
level. Tony puts it down to the use of Ableton, which means that rather
than working from “one basic beat and building off it” (the standard
hip hop model), he has begun stringing together multiple beats and
weaving them together into increasingly complex, surprising and
satisfying pieces of music. As he himself puts it, “I made each song a
little more of a musical journey than anything I have ever done
before.”

Blockhead’s ambition to “tell stories without words” is evident from
opener “It’s Raining Clouds” onwards. The tune starts off as classic
downtempo and ends up almost drum and bass, the music having changed
and fallen away, echoing back through itself and feeding into previous
themes at least three times. It’s an epic in an album of epics.

At the heart of the record is the remarkable “The Daily Routine” – an
exploration of drug addiction (based around a found recording of drug
addicts arguing), Blockhead says “it’s pretty much the creepiest song
I’ve ever made.” “Four Walls,” meanwhile aims a musical broadside at
the current vogue for autotune. “Which One Of You Jerks Drank My Arnold
Palmer” is huge ambient space rock hip hop. “The Prettiest Seaslug” is
Bahia-beat on opium. “Tricky Turtle” begins as afro-blaxpoitation,
turns into a voodoo orgy and ends somewherte in the Middle East.
“Farewell Spaceman” starts off sounding like an outtake from
“Bewitched” and ends as an ecstatic, chugging flight off into the
stars.

While “The Music Scene” represents a development in Blockhead’s work,
he still holds true to his basic beliefs about music and rhythm. When
not working on his new album he has been providing production for Aesop
Rock, DJ Signify, Joanna Erdos and many more, plus remixes for Yameen
and Chin Chin, amonst others. Whereas the music scene is “a bastardized
version of something that was already watered down,” Blockhead’s “The
Music Scene,” like his career as a whole, is “the opposite of that.” By
re-working, chopping and melding samples, by blending them together,
Blockhead restores rather than dilutes their purity.

Album: The Music Scene

Artist : Blockhead

Genre: Electronic

Label: Ninja Tune

Released: 02 Nov 2009

Tracklisting:

01 It’s Raining Clouds
02 The Music Scene
03 Only Sequences Change
04 Which One Of You Kerks Stole My Arnold Palmer
05 Attack The Doctor
06 The Prettiest Sea Slug
07 The Daily Routine
08 Tricky Turtle
09 Four Walls
10 Pity Party
11 Hell Camp
12 Farewell Spaceman



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