Thursday, 19 April 2012

Cupp Cave - Garbage Pail Beats (2008)

Belgian Fran├žois Boulanger crafts broken, drugged out, experimental beats under his two currently active monikers; Ssaliva and Cupp Cave. His Cupp Cave sound comes across like a malformed hybrid of the Flying Lotus-patented Brainfeeder sound, the fuzzy ‘knackered house’ of Andy Stott and the psychedelic beat constructions of Prefuse 73 and his ilk. There are many other influences I could write about too - wobbly Boards of Canada production techniques, 8-bit sounds, 1980's video game soundtracks - but the list would be a very long one. It's his handling of all these disparate sounds, influences and techniques that makes this whopping 32 track, 70+ minute collection an absolute thrill to listen to. In the hands of a lesser producer this would have been a messy and overlong affair but Boulanger maintains a firm grip and lightness of touch that is extremely impressive. In somewhat crowded market, Cupp Cave has delivered an album that is bursting at the seams with creativity and experimentation.

Essential listening for anyone who feels any of the above mentions.

"His Garbage Pail Beats are a rump-shaking, head-nodding, feet-shuffling slap in the face, one for the crate-diggers and glitch-lovers. Think nice crunchy gravel. Think big, red, 8-bit family sedan. Think wearing sunglasses sitting in the passenger seat with the window open. Think sunshine. Thump, thump, clap; Cupp Cave is guaranteed Hennessy-free."

The CD itself is also worth mentioning here. It is wrapped in some of the most amazing art I have seen in a long time. Created by the Lovely Package design house, the humble CD housing has truly been elevated to a work of multi-coloured, screen printed art.

Cupp Cave release the new album 'Retina Waves' in April 2012. This is also an essential audio requirement as it represents a huge step forward in Boulanger's sound, essentially dropping his beats behind a billowing gauze of decomposition and saturation.

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