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bumps (tortoise) - Raw Drums, Breaks, Beats
I can't say I was expecting this, it's just one of those records you think - damn, why hasn't that happened before? The Tortoise rhythm section (John McEntire, John Herndon and Dan Bitney) decided to kick out the whole 'other bit' of the music and do an entire record of drum breaks, and not a moment too soon I reckon. The drumming in Tortoise has always been the balancing point of the tracks, I mean, listen to TNT and then imagine it without the drums, it would almost be unlistenable - and those kind of rhythms would surely be gold dust for any self respecting hippety hopper, so it is hardly surprising that this record should end up on Stones Throw of all labels. What makes Stones Throw so damn great is that despite the fact they're huge, they're not afraid to throw caution to the wind and do something different, so a 23 track compilation of just killer drum breaks is no problem at all, they just get on with it and we have to show our respect by lapping it all up like good consumers. It's worth it too, and not just for the DJs and producers among you, being Tortoise the guys couldn't leave the tracks as straightforward breaks, so while the focus is 99% drums (there's some synth squelching somewhere I'm sure of it) this is lead drums, the kind of drumming you'd expect to hear on a jazz record as Han Bennink kicks out a solo for the umpteenth time, the kind of drumming you play again and again and again. This is a drum record that you can really listen to and you can shake your ass to it just as easily as engage your nerdier side and count out rhythms - have I said enough? I even think you could probably get away with playing these tracks out on a dancefloor, some of those primal Brazillian-style beats should really get the lady-hips swingin' and if they don't, well. I'll eat my sombrero. A strange release, definitely, but one that requires much, much further attention - mark my words these will be all over hip-hop records in the next couple of years. Recommended.