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MR BIRD: Know Your Rodents (2013)

No smelling a rat here as one of the UK’s most proficient sampledelic producers, ex-pat Mr Bird, re-releases his second LP from 2006 Know Your Rodents which is sixteen tracks of the sort of thing that were Ninjatune’s bread and butter back in the day. Put another way, this collection provides the sort of sample-rich instrumental breakbeats that have been tarred with all genre brushes from ‘trip-hop’ to ‘cinematic’. Either way (or indeed, any which way) the gloom which sometimes pervades music described thusly is entirely absent from Bird’s beats which seemed to have been imbued with sunshine even before he left these benighted shores for those of Portugal.

And when I say sunshine – I mean from one of those really hot summers in the 1970s. You know – riding your Raleigh Chopper to the shops, barefoot and wearing just your shorts, to buy Curly Wurlies and Space Dust and being sprayed by the kids next door who’ve got the hose out in the garden for their water slide. Lets’ Get Started takes a bit of a nibble at some mellow Texas slide guitar over stuttery breakbeat rhythms, Latin Stone sniffs at memories of mum in a cocktail dress and dad in a safari suit, Sweeney twitches its nose at a dash of seventies Rhodes action while Shoreline scurries all over seventies cop show incidental scores. Pure niceness. Play this and the sun might even forget all that the-jetstream’s-moved-further-south bullshit and just don his hat and project rays. Or at least it’ll feel like he is.
(Out now on Fat Bird Sounds)

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