Blockhead “Interludes After Midnight” | Ninja Tune

In April of 2012, Blockhead ran through town with a mammoth of a release that I can’t stop listening to. After “Music Scene”, a subtly ambitious album, I didn’t think it could be topped.

“Interludes After Midnight” topped it for me. The sounds that are merged within the hip-hop that Aesop Rock so commonly has visited are outstanding. It changes between a eulogy of what is common to hip-hop as well as a celebration of liberty within its freeform spirit. It is something to be listened to and respected. Blockhead (Tony Simon) brings in a massive collection of well-articulated samples in an otherwise easy and completely enjoyable listen.

His production is always something dusty, something that doesn’t take away from the ruthlessness of our past generations and the past generations of hip-hop. The samples and the colors always sound real, just like that one moment when you listen to a song and it just feels right. Well, the whole album goes that way. The tunes smash and layer all over each other in a sort of collage that reminds me of Madlib’s ability to mesh together an otherwise indefinable sounds of samples, chops and original work.

“Meet You At Tower Records” is a perfect summary song of the entire juxtaposition of samples and slimy, grimy beats that invade territories so comfortable but completely new at the same time. This sort of release is one I’ve been dreaming about. Constant psyche head nodding filled with wonderful fuzzy love that rewinds the listener back to the nostalgic sensation of the 60’s and their hyper psychedelic movement. The crispness of the entire sound and recording is extremely sexual if not narcotic.

The bass throughout the release is incredibly well shaped along with the shuffling high hats that fill themselves in within the tribal percussions that lead us through Blockhead’s sensational release. This is something I recommend to everyone, period. A wonderful release full of amazing samples that range from Turkish, to Indian, to African tribal and even some Caribbean sounds that are so well meshed within it all that they can easily be confused for a dirtied African drum beat. I can’t wait to see what else Blockhead does.

-Xavier Vilaplana

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