During my chillout sessions or sometimes during a workout I’ll check out Pandora radio to help aid my search for the chillin’ tracks. On my David Holmes (a Chillout Scene favorite) station, I encountered some great tracks by Mr Scruff.
Mr Scruff (real name Andy Carthy) uses a lot of piano, jazz, and soulful vocal samples in his tracks. He ends up creating a great retro sound very similar to David Holmes' which is again why I was drawn to his music.
I sampled a few tracks from his MySpace page most of which were taken from his latest album "Ninja Tuna" (an awesome name, by the way).
"Music Takes Me Up" features a groovin' melody provided by piano/keys and great vocal work by Alice Russell.
"Kalimba" sounds like it would fit right in on the Ocean's 12 soundtrack. This upbeat track really gets you moving with a fantastic disco-like string melody and a rich bass line. The congas and percussion are what made me think immediately of David Holmes work on the O12 soundtrack. The frenetic pace of the track also brings the listener to a world of high class criminals out on another job and on the run. Maybe not the best track to relax to, but it's quite enjoyable and would be a great one for getting ready to go out on the town.
"Donkey Ride" which features Quantic has a wonderful piano part at the beginning which then moves to a groovy piano/key alternating melody. This track also features a bossa-like feel and gets pretty crazy at the end with a lot of vocals, piano, and everything else coming together but then slowly fades out to end the song. I think this one is a very eclectic track, but after a few listens the groove really took over and I appreciated it that much more.
"Champion Nibble" is another high energy track that features some funky guitar and and a smokin' sax melody. I also loved the organ/synth part towards the end!
"Get a Move On" was featured on Ultra Chilled 05. I immediately loved the vocal samples and 40's sounding "big band" wind instrumental melody. It's a nice, medium paced track with a steady beat and again really captures the retro sound that Mr Scruff excels with invoking in his music.
Mr Scruff even has his own brand of teas you can drink while chillin’ out. Check out his tea company at www.makeusabrew.com.
I really enjoy Mr Scruff's work and will be picking up "Ninja Tuna" very soon to enjoy over and over. You should too if you enjoy the rich, retro-sounding tracks as much as I did!