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Car Paint Scheme

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Album Review

Req's Car Paint Scheme is a rare collaboration between two labels with competing interests but quite different audiences. Released by the perfectionists at Warp, who issue quality experimental techno with an unerring success rate, the tracks on Car Paint Scheme were selected by Damian Harris, the label boss of Skint — the former home of Req and a label who saw the wheels come off their big-beat machine at the beginning of the millennium but continued releasing quality material from Lo Fidelity Allstars and Fatboy Slim. From the liner notes, it becomes clear that Harris played the editor on a set of tracks that, in some cases, Req had recorded years earlier; considering that the usual Req LP flaunts a certain thrown-together quality anyway, listeners could be forgiven for surrendering to a certain dubiousness. While Car Paint Scheme doesn't reach the quality of the last Req LP Sketchbook, like anything he releases it possesses an obtuse charm that allows anything and makes every idiosyncrasy forgiveable. A record doesn't qualify as an immediate winner when it focuses largely on fractured, down-tempo breakbeats dug either from the Casio or the trash can, with a roster of untraceable effects ranging from ring-modulator processed to acid-bassline plumbing to dub-melodica driven. Still, Req makes them work in a manner that allows adventurous listeners to realize that he's succeeding both despite and because of his limitations — most of them probably self-imposed. "Skit 1/Style Mentorz" approaches a style of brash energy rivalling Prefuse 73, with a mush-mouthed British rap from Kid Acne.


Born: 20 February 1966 in Brighton, Sussex, England

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Brighton graffiti artist/producer Req in some respects embodies the clichés of British underground club music: no formal musical training whatsoever; a youth spent tagging, DJing, and breakdancing in the wake of the first wave of hip-hop culture to hit the U.K.; a knack for pushing received artistic sensibilities to their breaking point and coming up with exciting new directions in the offing. Req's music, however, is hardly clichéd, combining a warped, abstract approach to sampled breaks with a...
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Car Paint Scheme, Req
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