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Scrap Book

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Album Review

Lovers of vintage soundtracks, electronic and novelty music know that Trunk Records is a fabulous label, but they may not be aware that its founder, Jonny Trunk, is a musician in his own right. Given his line of work, it's no surprise that he has access to some of the coolest and rarest music around, just ripe for sampling. He did exactly that on his acclaimed 2004 debut, Inside Outside, and worked for the next few years that ended up on Scrapbook — which Trunk writes could be called "the Crapbook" in the liner notes. While these tracks are more fragmentary than those on his debut, he's being too self-deprecating; these vignettes may be short, but they still have plenty of character. "Heavy" lasts just under a minute, but its driving one-note riff and flashy drumming don't have time to wear out their welcome at that length. "Busy Busy" lives up to its name, setting percolating guitars, a twittering flute, and a revving motor loose like a bunch of wind-up toys; "Crank Two," one of the collection's more fleshed-out tracks, emphasizes its collage-like feel with a slightly hip-hop-tinged beat that winds in and out of fizzy electronics and symphonic flourishes. If anything, the shorter lengths of these pieces make them even more appealing, and make the album feel more like a cult movie score that Trunk would release. Based on the way Trunk seamlessly juxtaposes lounge, electronic music, jazz, and a smidgen of rock, this could be music from the greatest spy/sci-fi/caper film that was never released. Witty and equally enjoyable as background music or under headphones, everything about Scrapbook is emblematic of Trunk's label. Fans of the music he reissues — as well as fans of creative instrumental music in general — should give it a listen.

Scrap Book, Jonny Trunk
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