Funk-fuelled cut ‘n’ paste (BA, Hons)
London producer Archie Fairhurst, who keen observers will already know thanks to a brace of dazzling cut ‘n’ paste EPs, 2012’s ‘Meditations On Afrocentrism’ and 2013’s ‘Love Songs: Part One’, both of which appeared on Bristol’s future-facing Black Acre label.
Not least because said EPs caught the attention of Ninja Tune – and when they scoop up an artist you’d be daft not to listen. A drummer and a guitarist, Fairhurst added some turntable-meets-secondhand-record-shop shizz to his sound while living in Paris and the result, as evidenced by his debut album ‘Projections’, has much in common with his new label’s founders Coldcut.
But there’s more. As a student, Fairhurst studied African American Visual Culture and he’s turned that learning into music, music, music. The album is, according to his people, “a homage to the cycle of cultural appropriation in America”. While that might sound terribly academic, it’s a seriously cunning record that has turned ears in the Electronic Sound office every time we’ve played it.
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The inspiration for the whole shebang comes from Afro-American artist Romare Bearden (whose 1964 exhibition ‘Projections’ lends its name to the album). Our Romare took his lead from that Romare’s cut ’n’ paste artworks and applied similar techniques to his music. The result isn’t just a hotchpotch of interesting samples and vocal snatches, but a carefully constructed collection that verges on aural documentary. So we get everything from tributes to the classic American work song (erm, ‘Work Song) to a celebration of disco (‘Rainbow’). It’s fascinating stuff, guaranteed to work the old grey matter as well as fuelling your dancing feet.
‘Projections’ is out on Ninja Tune