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If there was ever a year that lent itself to creativity in the RPM Challenge (entries must submit ten tracks or 35 minutes of original music entirely created from start to finish within the month of Feb.), then surely it was this lockdown year of 2021. Everyone’s completed Netflix, watched Prime, walked every place they can walk within a 5 mile radius of where they live a hundred times and there’s only so many occasions you can dust the insides of your pipes. Why not make some music? I wouldn’t be surprised if 2021 saw a record number of entries and that those were the most creative ever. Anyway, step forward regular RPM fiend and past master at knocking out LPs in a month, Pimpernel Jones, keen once more to pit his composition, production and even mastering talents against the relentless ticking of the clock.

Last year, of course, Mr Jones upped the ante by upgrading his studio computer at the same time. This year he upped it still further by upgrading his studio monitors and mixing and mastering another hip-hop LP at the same time. Not that you’d notice listening to this year’s effort from the man. Longer than last year’s album by three tracks (though of course some of these function as less-than-a-minute-long interludes) PJ goes full-on with the head-nod, boom-bap grooves and in doing so provides both his best effort yet – a set of earworms that functions equally well as a dope beat tape. Opener Lunch Bap, establishes the tone with a phat, scratch-laced groove followed by The Green which adds a fragrantly Eastern sonic haze to the mix. Elsewhere look out for the smoky jazz-influenced trip-hop of Summerdimes and the Mo Waxisms of the minimalist closer Dodgers. This one’s all about Got Sum though – funkiest of the grooves on offer, featuring a a vocal sample about mpcs and a PJ original bassline composed on a Minimoog clone. Pimpernel Jones’ RPM 2021 then, get some!

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