Chewing On Glass & Other Miracle Cures

By Ed Thaw

At a dead end, bored with endlessly extracting sounds from vinyl and smarting at the lack of inspiration in his home town of Nova Scotia, Vaughn Robert Squire needed a change. A Fender Rhodes given as a present by a girlfriend and a move to Montreal and Sixtoo, he of the impeccable lo-fi hip hop credentials (Anticon and more recently Vertical Farm), found the light in a more organic, live, way of making music. Now firmly a producer, the former battle rapper is signed to Ninja Tune and has just released Chewing On Glass & Other Miracle Cures into the world. When you throw out your work, as Sixtoo did, after four months it’s usually a bad thing, a sign of stagnation, boredom at rehashing the same old shite. Clearly, however, Montreal has had a rejuvenating effect on him, not least it allowed him to persuade Godspeed You Black Emperor’s Thierry to pop round and offer his vocal services.

There’s everything you’d expect here in a post DJ Shadow world. Rhodes sampled percussive jazzy drums and pounding bass, but that’s not to say that this is hip hop by numbers. Not a jot. This is a live beast. Indeed, there are times when audio trickery is eschewed in favour of simple ‘live’ playing – which is no bad thing in this endlessly manipulated, Pro Tool-ed world we now listen in. Standout tracks include Chainsaw Buffet with its driving drumbeat and Moog-sed up bass and Sidewinder with the newly beloved Rhodes. Ninja Tune say this is a psyche rock/jazz masterpiece. Maybe it doesn’t redefine the status quo enough for that but it does make damn fine listening and it will provide yet another perfect late night soundtrack and that is one thing you can’t have enough of. So if you’re not averse to Anticon and partial to all things Ninja then you’ll certainly want to add this to the pile.
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