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Keep It Unreal

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Album Review

Thanks to imaginative programming on tracks like the single "Honeydew," Keep It Unreal is yet another accomplished work by breakbeat maestro Mr. Scruff. The vibes definitely triumph over any progression on these tracks, but the album's diverse moods and tempos work magic. The galloping gait and what sounds like a Louis Jordan sample power "Get a Move On," while the next track, "Midnight Feast," has the late-night feel of a Portishead single. The single "Honeydew" has a rich, soulful vocal that lifts the song into Soul II Soul territory while the cagey, metallic drum programs sound straight off a driving new wave single. "Cheeky" is a deep-groove house number with bright piano lines and an echoed diva vocal. Several tracks are reminiscent of Amon Tobin's swing-era plunderphonics, but most everything here is original, well-done, and prime Mr. Scruff.


Born: 10 February 1972 in Stockport, Cheshire, England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Mr. Scruff's breakbeat noodlings were some of the more playful and summery of the British trip-hop lot. Ultra-clean production and an economic approach to sampling distinguished his music from spliff-tokers and bombasts alike. The authorial nickname of Manchester native Andy Carthy (his neatly trimmed beard being the source), Mr. Scruff attracted the buzz of DJs and critics alike with the 1995 Rob's Records release "Sea Mammal." A semi-veiled tribute to Boogie Down Productions' seminal "My Philosophy,"...
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Keep It Unreal, Mr. Scruff
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