Sunday, 28 September 2014

Recommended music: 'Shaker Notes' by Paul White

"I try not to think in genres at all, I think music is music!" - Paul White, 2014

Following on from a spell producing hip-hop records for the likes of Danny Brown and Homeboy Sandman, White's third album (the first for R and S Records) is a very different proposition. Putting the samples to one side, he plays pretty much all of the music on here himself, and sings as well. There are guest appearances from friends and even family (his uncle plays the violin on 'Sitting In Circles') but really this is White opening himself up for all to see.

In keeping with the quote at the top of the page there's an array of styles on display here, from the more hip-hop flavoured tracks like 'All We Know', to the Balearic house stylings of 'Where You Gonna Go?' and on to the swampy electro-blues of 'Honey Cats' (and that's just the first three tracks!). Elsewhere there's a hint of Thom Yorke on 'Wait & See', a drums and sax pairing on 'Fighting To Dance' and a dub feel on 'Is It Up To Us?'. 'Sitting In Circles' sounds like a lost 60s film theme, while 'Numbers of Change' is the most electronic thing on here and in part conjures up the ghost of John Carpenter. Closer 'Shaker Notes' is a suitably eclectic and slightly melancholic way to end the record, which wraps up the musical themes that have been explored before it.

Something about this record feels really intimate and personal, it's almost like in ditching the samples and picking up instruments he's managed to communicate a message from his soul. You can stream the whole album below, and after you've listened to it I urge you to buy it for yourself (you can get it direct from his Bandcamp page here). I'm really looking forward to my red vinyl copy arriving in the post but in the meantime I'll be shaking along to the download!

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