For those lucky enough to experience the joys of the English Winter, you’ll know we take our pleasures where we find them…month upon month of dreary, grey, non-weather lead us to do some strange things…and by mid-February a weary distaste of all things wintry has set in.
The symptoms can be read like some kind of spoor trailed through the house…empty sleeping bags lounge for days on the sofa, TV’s tune in to the Holiday Channel as if guided by an unseen hand, overdoses of vitamins lead to toilets filling up with what appears to be orangeade, impulse purchases of coconuts and pineapples go uneaten…the list goes on.
But then, oh day of glory, you get that whiff of SPRING in the air and everything’s suddenly more than alright. You start planning barbecues. You’re back on the lager.
Unable to contain yourself, you decide to risk a tee shirt and join the forests of pasty arms waving at each other all across the land.
And, as if by magic, for a couple of weeks at least, your soundtrack changes. Out goes the Cohen, in come the Isley’s. Or whatever your version of that would be…
For me, this premature ebullience involves Hip Hop in heavy rotation. Which leads me to People Under The Stairs…
The PUTS are an L.A. based duo, Thes One and Double K, whose underground approach eschews the pre-programmed synthy beats of most commercial Hip Hop out there today. They favour the more organic sounds of loops and samples raided primarily from crates of old Jazz and Funk vinyl. This laid-back sound coupled (in this case) with lyrics about alleviating the stresses of modern life with the combined powers of music, friendship, family, new footwear, beer, a certain herbal essence, and the therapeutic act of putting words down on paper is irresistible to me.
If you’re into the likes of Jurassic Five or Dilated Peoples, there’s a good chance this’ll be up your street too.
The track in question is lifted from their 2002 album, ‘O.S.T.’ (‘Original Sound Track’), not to be confused with their next offering ‘ ..Or Stay Tuned,’ or the soundtrack to Wes Craven’s splatterfest of the same name.
Debates about the merits of the back-to-the-old-school movement will go on until we’re all rattling our dentures, but if there’s a better summery groove to float through the house like a stoned bumblebee, I’d really like to know. I challenge you to listen without smiling.
Citrus-fresh and invigorating as the morning squirt of grapefruit in your eye.
Punt winter out of your life…and don’t forget to wave those pasty arms!
(click here to buy O.S.T. from AmazonUK)