Blockhead is the name created by hip hop producer Tony Simon. While most likely only heard on indie compilations or chillout stations on Pandora, it is somewhat difficult to differentiate and suss through the who’s-who of sample heavy tunes.
To describe what might be expected while listening to his latest work The Music Scene (set for release on January 12), it is suggested that the Mr. Scruff, Thievery Corporation, Nightmares on Wax albums be thrown in a blender and set to “puree”. Very soulful samples, record pops, and indian flavor adorn each and every track on this album. Lyric samples are tinny and sound like they are being played by a wind-up RCA phonograph.
Starting out, It’s Raining Clouds is very soulful, with hard hitting beats. The album transfers into more Indian flavor, with plucky riffs off of a zither. Each track incorporates a stringed sample of some sort, with brass instruments, and a driving groove tying together the smokers delight. Only Sequences Change is a very classical arrangement, with orchestral tones all over it. Which One of You Jerks Drank My Arnold Palmer? blends surfer samples with a keyboard riff that could be made by none other than a five year old. It’s a beautiful, happy song. Trick Turtle belongs in a 1970’s blacksploitation film.
Overall, this album is a solid 4/5. While it is very difficult for casual listeners to tell the differences, hardcore fans of the Ninja Tune label will be quite pleased. A very solid work, The Music Scene can be appreciated by square and stoner alike. Standout tracks are The Music Scene, Which One of You Jerks Drank My Arnold Palmer?, Tricky Turtle, and Farewell Spaceman.
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