Never thought it'd be possible for Aesop Rock's main beat man, Blockhead, to improve on the formula of his brilliant instrumental hiphop debut, Music By Cavelight. But here he is, back with an album that may just have given my ear an orgasm.
This is a further refined, more assured concoction of Blockhead's crackling, moody record-crate jewels, reinforced by occasional live instruments and cuts, and locked together by crusty drums that drop with an aircraft carrier's weight. It's the quality and colour of his samples, both individually and as a collection, that amaze, partly because Tony Simon takes joy in making marriages between the most disparate loops not just work, but progress.
His combos call to mind the strangest visions: Jimi Hendrix and Henry Mancini jamming in a giant parlour; Bill Withers chilling with Burt Bacharach, Charlotte Church and a chorus of Muppets; Dr. Dre and Charo at a beach party; Depeche Mode backed by the London Philharmonic. RJD who?