That ol’ early Shadow/ Krush sonic template continues to stand the test of time and while it might not have been flavour of the month for – oohh – at least twenty years, you can rely on there always being a few LPs a year worth a listen. Indeed, Hip Cut’s Hip Society is the second in two months, the other being DJ Moya’s II305 – and what are the chances (?) – Moya himself turns up on one of the best cuts – Sounds In The Night. But where Moya push the boundaries of the template at times in terms of tempo and introduced glitch-influenced beats, Hip Cut stays firmly in the realm of 90s dusty cinematic beats.
That’s not to say it’s just beats, you understand. The heyday of trip-hop was not without its vocal tropes of course. You want that smokey jazz-club chanteuse vibe? Check Sugahspank’s soulful turn on the Portishead-esque Precision. Got more of a penchant for minimal Wu-Tang soundscapes? Try the slo-mo boom-bap of album highlight Torn featuring none less an emcee than Awon or the even more downtempo Red-Eyed which apply a RZA aesthetic to the beats albeit employing jazz rather than soul samples. The whole thing weighs in at just eight tracks plus instros of two of them (the aforementioned Red-Eyed and Precision) but while it may be short, it is most definitely sweet as a nut.
(Out 5 April on Melting Records)