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woebot - Chunks (Limited Vinyl Edition)
Hugely respected music journalist, blogger and record collector turned sample-based musician Matthew Ingram follows up last years brilliant 'Moanad' album under his Woebot moniker with an exploration of "groove" concepts in the context of pre-rave rock music. If we ever needed any affirmation as to Ingram's credentials as an archivist and collector of supremely good taste we need only think back to that mind-expanding list of the 100 best records ever made that he put together on his blog back in 2005 - an impossible task and yet one which pushed us in the direction of several albums we'd never heard before - and that really is a rare feat. Anyway, armed with his trusty MPC and that impeccable archive, Ingram picks up where he left off on the last album, arranging fractions of classic and obscure prog rock, metal and psych records into lo-fi and dusty instrumental collages. Imagine Jonny Trunk jamming with Steinski and Position Normal on an ale-soaked Akai in the back room of a boozer, wearing double denim and a Dr. John T-shirt and you're kinda on the right page. The vibe is unfussy, raw, and endearingly un-earnest, happy to lean back and riff away on repetitive, chewy little phrases and half-cut licks knitted together with simple delay, reverb and EQing, but it's also deceptively crafty, removing all the twiddly prog bits to get back to some essence of innate repetition and that all important groove, albeit in a new, augmented form. There are also amazing, unexpected disruptions here and there that only really sink in after a couple of listens - like those larger than life bass shudders that make fleeting appearances, completely shifting the scope and nuance of the material, or those edgy, haphazard cuts that propel this material into an alternate reality you won't want to come out of in a hurry. Excellent stuff - Highly recommended.