This is not the sort of music I would seek out. Wub wub wub, fast or slow, doesn’t really appeal to a dinosaur rock lover like me. I do love a good deal of electronica and synth-enhanced rock, but generally not a sample soup. So I apologise in advance for my lack of knowledge of the genre and I could be completely wrong, but to me it sounds far better than what I do hear of this style of music.
It’s a very relaxed record and apart from probably being pretty good when coming down off all those drugs I never indulge in it makes a pleasant background for sitting around relaxing or doing something that requires concentration. Nothing really gets repeated over and over to the extent it annoys the fuck out of me like most of this sort of mash of sounds. Nor are there any particularly grating sounds, repeated or not and in fact the vast majority of individual sounds are new to me. And because I’m not playing it through some enormous sub-woofer it doesn’t sound like those dickheads down the road who drive past at 3:00 am not accepting the fact that car doorskins are not great passive speakers. Wub wub.
So who is behind Thriftworks? Well it’s a hip-hop producer called Jake Atlas (take note writers of superhero comics). I couldn’t find much more because if you even think the word dubstep near an open google window there is an outbreak of Skrillex that suffocates anything in its path.
I like the way the record starts with a feel a bit like that opening scene of ‘O Brother Where Art Thou’ with the chain gang, and it’s cool that the whole record ends with a variation of the same song so you really do feel you’ve gone through a bit of a journey. Good understanding of primacy and recency right there.
I like the strong experimental feel and the fact it rejects shallow, catchy hooks. I have no aversion to songs that are full of a huge range of sounds and are very busy like this, although I do prefer songs with more dynamic variation and structure. With his vocal samples Atlas shows appreciation for the little combinations of vowels and consonants that he comes across by choosing and abstracting carefully and wisely rather than grabbing the first voice track he finds and Smurfing it up.
“Rainmaker” doesn’t provide me with an emotional experience- it sort of just is. It’s different from most ambient electronica I’ve heard because of the high level of detail and in that way it’s a bit of a paradox. It feels thoughtfully and skilfully made and unlike billions of other dubstep records clearly has longevity. You may reject it out of hand because of the wub but it’s free, which is cheaper than air so give it a go and see what happens.