Blockhead’s “The Music Scene”

The Music Scene

Aesop Rock’s longtime collaborator Blockhead has released his fourth album, The Music Scene. Earlier this month, Ninja Tune posted a digital version for sale on its website (as well as retailers such as Amazon and eMusic); the CD and vinyl editions drop on January 12.

Cue the press release:

New York hip hop producer Tony Simon aka Blockhead returns with his third and best instrumental album for Ninja Tune.

Blockhead has long made beautiful, emotive music based around the hip hop template, but on “The Music Scene” he elevates his craft to another level. Tony puts it down to the use of Ableton, which means that rather than working from “one basic beat and building off it” (the standard hip hop model), he has begun stringing together multiple beats and weaving them together into increasingly complex, surprising and satisfying pieces of music. As he himself puts it, “I made each song a little more of a musical journey than anything I have ever done before.”

While “The Music Scene” represents a development in Blockhead’s work, he still holds true to his basic beliefs about music and rhythm. When not working on his new album he has been providing production for Aesop Rock, DJ Signify, Joanna Erdos and many more, plus remixes for Yameen and Chin Chin, amonst others. Whereas the music scene is “a bastardized version of something that was already watered down,” Blockhead’s “The Music Scene,” like his career as a whole, is “the opposite of that.” By re-working, chopping and melding samples, by blending them together, Blockhead restores rather than dilutes their purity.

Here’s the track listing:

  • 1. “It’s Raining Clouds”
  • 2. “The Music Scene”
  • 3. “Only Sequences Change”
  • 4. “Which One Of You Kerks Stole My Arnold Palmer”
  • 5. “Attack The Doctor”
  • 6. “The Prettiest Sea Slug”
  • 7. “The Daily Routine”
  • 8. “Tricky Turtle”
  • 9. “Four Walls”
  • 10. “Pity Party”
  • 11. “Hell Camp”
  • 12. “Farewell Spaceman”
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