After a blistering set at reading fest, a signed tshirt and scroobie pip beard-fan, i could not resist but write a review. Introduced to them by a friend, i was unaware of who i was dealing with, beliving them to just be another rebellious band up there on the political front like ratm, or mobots. After this, i simply had to buy the album, Angles. it is one of the best albums of its style, and at 6.99 pounds it was a solidly fair deal, for the songwriting genious contained in the disk in binaty dots and dashes was priceless. while containing hundreds of different themes in sentances (the power of scroobius pips' songwriting is phenominal) twinned with Dan le sacs groovy, twangy, pulsing beats, it is impossible not to be drawn into a world where words, politics, humour, real life and fantasy are rolled into one and regurgitated in a swirling ball of pure, uncensored genious. this is not 'russel brand' genious, or '50cent' genious, this is the genious of einstein or bach, on a shiny disk. And at the bottom of the themes in the cd is a simple to follow set of rules to live ones life by.
Well, when I saw these guys weren't on yoodoo, I had to request.
One of my favourite acts around at the moment, these guys really are something different.
Dan Le Sac - The first half of the band, Dan le Sac is the DJ who describes his style as 'Electronica, IDM, Indie'. Accompanied on stage with only a mac, Dan puts the tunes down to.....
Scroobious Pip - The vocalist / spoken word poet, Pip comes up with the incredible lyrics and amazing words. Honestly, I have never been moved to tears by live poetry before, but this man can do it. Describes his style as 'Hip-hop/ Jazz / A'cappella'
Individually, these guys are incredibly talented. If you ever get the chance to go to a spoken word poetry night go and see pip. Amazing... If I had to recommend solo stuff, id say check out '1000 words', 'when i grow up i want to be an astronaut' and 'Rat Race' by Pip, and 'Floot' and 'Annie Mac Minimix' by Dan, all available on Myspace.
But... the amalgamation of the two makes Dan la Sac Vs Scroobious pip!
Both based in 'Stanford Le Hope' near London, these guys manage to transcend genres and create something so uniquely their own.
Bootleg copies of both artists' early individual stuff and tunes as a band sometimes come up on ebay. As well as early live LP's. I would really recommend 'Dan le Sac vs scroobious pip live 2007'
- Back from hell (Live at Paradiso)
- Development (Live at Barfly)
- Angles (Live at Latitude)
- Thou Shalt Always Kill (Live at Latitude)
- Fixed (Live at Barfly)
However, there real stunning work is 'Angles', released may 2008 on (what I believe is) Dan's record label, Sunday Best. (available on Amazon and Play.com)
The Beat that My Heart Skipped
- the first major single and an amazing track. 'every now and then I cower / and I need to find empowerment / empowerment is paramount / to how I can begin to mount / a plan that I can implement to make a dent on ignorance / instead of drunk belligerence in the dissidence of miscreants / Especially in this instance with the never ending persistence/ to use the words in each sentence / as if they were blunt instruments / to beat a hole in the defense of this beauty and her innocence / which serves to just build resistance / in spite of all my good intents' Incredibly catchy with a nice dirtttyyy baseline.
- 'You see image is nothing / Imagination is everything /Is there anything you wear that's more important than what you think?' Probably the most hip-hop tune of the album, with a country and western style guitar riff. Lots of sampling and some very intelligent lyrics mixed in with some break-beats and a lesson for us all. A new kind of skill in rapping the periodic table. Ends with some grindy, futuristic dj'ing.
Look for the Woman
- id say this is the second deepest song on the album. A testament to those in a long-term relationship who are going through a crisis of confidence. Lovely, lulling baseline with perfect sampled vocals. I think the crux of the matter with this one is whether is resonates or not. If it hits you, it knocks you flat. 'There's a weight over me today / It's something I have to say / Love you too much to leave / Don't like you enough to stay'
- Not my favourite song on the album. Starts with some lovely breakbeats and falls into an elegant and fluid vocal flow. A little too old school trip-hop for me, but excellent lyrics (as usual) and will really appeal to those who like their progressive dance / heavily edited remixes. Amazing admiration for someone who respects their artform so deeply but can still be funny with it. 'You can hear every word, you would still never know me / Like Sean Penn could win 10 Oscars but he'll still be Spicoli'
- Now this is a truly special song. The lyrics are simply fantastic. I just need you to listen to this song. I love it, my boyfriend loves it, my sister loves it and so does my mum. Its unconventional and beautiful. But then... I can say beautiful, because I understand what it means after hearing this! If you only listen to one song on this album, make it this one. 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, / I was lucky enough to be near her so i told her./ Funnily enough I missed the freckles on her shoulder / and that even on the hottest of nights her skin was colder'
- a fantastic look at the UK hip-hop scene. Funny, smart and contagious with a sample from Dizzie Rascal. A humorous look at the ridiculous scene that is UK hip-hop, with a fantastic dose of respect. ' I got a holster / i keep biscuits in it'. Speed up along the song and ends up being a great live tune to dance to. Particularly excellent live.
- The title track. Deep, cutting, raw and honest. Whilst I love this version, please visit www.thecalmzone.net for an amazing version with several other artists for a fantastic cause. Pip plays the role of several different 'characters' within the song. Unlike anything ive heard before, the harsh backbeat frames this perfectly. 'Things in life ain't always quite what they seem, there's more than one given angle to any one given scene / so bear that in mind next time you try to invervene / on any one given angle, on any one given scene.'. Be prepared to have your breath taken away
Letter from God to Man
- the feel-good hit of the album, this really makes you think on a level many songs about religion or belief don't even begin to hit. Remixed with Radiohead's "Planet Telex" from the bends, just when you thought this album wanted to put you down and let you have a rest, be prepared for some deeper thought patterns. Also, if you see them live, enjoy the extended rave ending! 'So I'm writing to apologize for all the horrors committed in my name / Although that was never what I intended, I feel I should take my share of the blame / All the good I tried to do was corrupted when all the religion got into full swing / What I thought were quite clear messages were taken to unusual extremes'
- Personally, the hardest song I have ever listened to. This song takes a deep inside look at suicide and self-harm, as well as those left behind after someone takes their own life. This song came to me at a particularly hard time in my life, and honestly, I think it saved it. This made me thing twice about what happens after you step away from this planet. My very favourite song on this album. Some people might not understand it, or might find it too hard to listen to, but simply, this song is life-saving. Finished perfectly with the haunting and overbearing music. 'If I shared lives there was nothing worth living for as far as you could see / So if that's the case for you then what is there left in this life for me?'
Back from Hell
- the one to make you dance, and probably the polar opposite to Magicians assistant. Deep beats which make you want to get up, positive lyrics and a much needed and welcome happy break after the heavier theme of some of the other songs. 'when I get back from hell again / im going to be so elegant / the relevance of my benevolence is evidence'
Thou Shall Always Kill
- Probably the duo's most famous song. With its Nintendo style background and grounded lyrics, this song lifted the band to the precarious status of myspace fame and kept them there. Quotable, funny and clever. A real treat summing up the best and worse of popular culture in one short, catchy tune. 'Thou shalt not quote me happy /
Thou shalt not shake it like a polaroid picture / Thou shalt not wish your girlfriend was a freak, like me.'
Waiting for the beat to kick in
- two-steps back to old school. This tune ends the album beautify with the very best of Dan's Dj'ing skills and the spoken word poems of Pip. Probably the clearest you ever see the pair whilst showing off the clarity of their own individual brilliance. A fantastic end to the album, rounding off the experience that is Angles. 'Waiting for the beat to kick in /
But it never does / Waiting for my feet to grow wings / That lift me above / All of these tiresome things / That we know and love / Waiting for the beat to kick in / But it never does.' I'll let the secret track be a secret for you to uncover.
I actually can't do this album enough justice. Give it a try, it really is something special. An education, a learning curve. I honestly believe this has something for everyone, even if you don't expect to find it.
The live act
I have seen the band twice in Norwich and once in Peterborough and I have always been impressed. The album lends itself especially well to live gigs. Lots of beat, lots of volume. I have seen some heavy rock acts over the years but these guys get the crowd going just as well. Plus, you will meet all different characters at there gigs. Everytime, they have come out after the gig for photos and signatures. Down to earth, nice guys and a true experience of a set list. I never thought id see a dance remix of the Antiques roadshow theme :)
Also, I have seen Pip's poetry set. A different experience but a great one none the less. If you ever get the chance, I urge you to go.
controlled and clueless
careers lasting a minuet
If this is the big life
Well, i aint looking to live it
We aint pushing the boundaries,
Were blowing them up
We aint trying to expand the scene
We want the scene to erupt
So makes some room on the floor and somebody bolt the doors
Coz tonight... we aint seeking applause
Just want some good new fashioned fun yyyy'all.'