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Boomkat Product Review:
The fourth solo album from NYC's Tony Simon, The Music Scene comes nearly six years after his much-loved Ninja Tune debut Music By Cavelight. In addition to his solo instrumental work, Simon's made a name for himself producing tracks for the likes of Aesop Rock, DJ Signify and Murs among many others, but he undoubtedly has an ear for threading together standalone works from manipulated samples. Apparently, on The Music Scene, Simon found himself more able to elaborate on his compositional approach thanks to his use of Ableton, which saw him shunning the more traditional sampler-driven approach to beat dissection in favour of heavy layering. Ecclecticism lies at the heart of this record, and each track seems to usher in a new multi-dimensional collage, finding an early peak with the crashing drums, grainy brass and soulful electric piano phrases of 'Which One Of You Jerks Drank My Arnold Palmer?". Keeping with the eclectic theme, for a brief moment 'Pity Party' features a spot of whistling that evokes the intro to The Scorpions' 'Wind Of Change', but then it's a track that seems to switch persona repeatedly throughout its four or so minutes. Further standout moments come during the Four Tet-like folk-hop of 'The Daily Routine with its scrunched acoustic guitars and string samples and the exploitation movie referencing 'Hell Camp', which offers timelessly bluesy, trip hop style beats and progressions.