Blockhead, Bubble Bath  
Blockhead
Bubble Bath
EUR 2xLP 
Label: Future Archive
Release Year: 2020
Style: Hip-Hop & R'n'B
 
  Tracks  
  1. On The Bright Side
2. Bubble Bath
3. Spicy Peppercorn
4. The Magical Intimacy Camel
5. It Is Not Yet Time For The Percolator
6. Sugar Daddies' Lament
7. Over And Out
8. Life Support
9. Moist Ghost
10. Spa Day With Your Moms
11. That's How He Got Dead
12. Vitamin D Deficiency
 
  Future Archive Recordings is extremely proud and excited to present new material from BLOCKHEAD. The internationally renowned NYC producer has released 10 albums over the past 15 years, including four acclaimed records for Ninja Tune and numerous production jobs including notable works with Aesop Rock. He is regarded as one of the modern masters of instrumental hip-hop, and the forthcoming new album sees him return to record-label-released music with the bold and exciting roster at Future Archive Recordings (co-founded by artists Arms and Sleepers, Sun Glitters, Little People and CNJR, and also co-run by Mark McGlinchey).

‘Bubble Bath’ is a record born out of meditative expression and ongoing personal creative challenges, key for a producer of BLOCKHEAD’s experience. Carried forward are the incredible hook and sample placement skills of classic works such as ‘Uncle Tony’s Coloring Book’ and ‘Music By Cavelight’, but what has emerged is an overwhelming sense of natural musicality and sophistication.

“I want the music I make to be unaffected by outside influences. I like the idea of working in a bubble… ...When I have to describe what I do, to someone, it’s always a little awkward because it starts as “I’m a musician” and as questions come back it gets broken down. “No, I don’t play any instruments” “No, I’m not trained in musical theory” “I make beats”. When it comes down to it, everything I do has always been guided by my ears and sensibility.”

‘It’s Not Yet Time For The Perculator’ is a sweet synth-led gospel thumb with psychedelic new age leanings. There is luxurious use of funk bass, swaggered beats throughout the whole record, as expected, but what surprises is BLOCKHEAD’s new-found cosmic flow. The album, though texturally collaged, seems to move as one constant.

“This album is not for dancing. I mean, people can certainly find moments here and there where they can apply that to this album but , overall, it’s a mellow trip. You can put it on while you’re having sex just as easily as you can put it on while you slip into a soul crushing depression. It’s got that kinda flexibility to it, and that is by design.”

Opening track and lead single ‘On The Bright Side’ is a woozy, dreamlike slab of instrumental hip-hop. This first song galvanises BLOCKHEAD’s ethos toward instrumental music: “The reason I never got into instrumental music is because I find it monotonous. My goal has been to avoid that. It’s hard to attach truly personal things to instrumental music because, generally, those feelings are expressed in words. So, I have to kinda put forth moods and leave the rest up to the listener.”

Tracks such as ‘That’s How He Got Dead’ illustrate brooding late night scenes and cityscapes, conjuring more soulful psychedelia, as the record rolls through this contrastingly dark yet kaleidoscopic journey. Ultimately this is open music with which the listener is invited to shape an experience. The songs are romantic, forlorn, cinematic maybe, with a gentle touch, rolling hip-hop beats, vocals and guitar sample interplay nodding at some of the absolute touchstones of the genre.
 
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