Tag Archives: C R P N T R

The Hip Hop House Vol. 2

The Hip Hop House Vol. 2is a collection of music from acts that’s played Sketchy Beats Cafe at The Hip-Hop House event hosted by Werd once a month. Including a mix of genres influenced and involving hip-hop.

Werd’s ‘HHH Intro Bars’brings all kinds of gritty-grittyness with 8-bit blips and a sweet little electro sampling track as the opener for this consortium of tracks spanning many sub genres of hip hop.

Tickle is equally solid in their message about ‘Austerity’, calling out on some of the dissolutions of our present government; a small taste of Spanish versing allows for a lovely opportunity to play with different rhythms.

Big Shamu has a more introspective look on things, with soul searching and offers you an ingestible ‘Shit Sandwich’; the words fall intricately in between the beats and the tracks being sampled.

‘A Little Feeling’is softer in meaning, butThey Call me Al. does a little bit of reminiscing, some struggles, some heartbreak, some talk about God; emotive and soulful.

Still with plenty of feeling is Solenoid with‘Superpoly Techniques’,but bringing a bit more funk; some old-school scratching features, with classic brass as the backdrop to skilful rhyming.

In contrast to the more guttural, Scottish-accent boasting ‘The Rant’brought to you by Wee D is raw and bold, the words to beat ratio is really on point, bouncing around those quarter beats and triplets with ease shows this track is skilful and entertaining.

‘Big Balls’, as the title suggests, is gutsy with a hard rock backdrop by Devils in Skirts, but the adage of the Scottish accent in many of these tracks brings a uniqueness that could never be replicated from other countries.

Ripping up the lyrics G-Mohas a lot to say but the title ‘Uh’gives off a nonchalant perspective; lots of stories to be told and simplified to one word – it’s artistic prowess at itsheight.

While Simmons Is Old’s‘Love is the Lust’beckons similar sampling to ‘Devils in Skirts’ it’s much more grunge, the slow dirge of sounds that swoon in the background nicely juxtaposes the rhyming, which is like a rippling waterfall washing all over winding, bending guitar chords.

The variety of sub genres represented on this album is impressive, ‘Patrick Swayze Pt1’by  Kid Robotik is on another end of the spectrum from ‘Steady Moving’by Blasfima Sinna X Konnsky.

Even the flavour of Scottish accents is diverse with CRPNTR’s ‘Couch Tatty’compared to One Oz in ‘Busweiser’.

While not all artists chose to place emphasis on their native tongue,Cherry Diesel sound a lot more like American rock/hip-hop with ‘Renegade’, the way that each artist has shaped their own music is a testament to the talent of Scottish musicians out there.

Spawn Zero’s ‘Price of Love’ communicates a reflective account of a past relationship, dealing with growth and life, while a much slower but similar sentiment is up next in ‘Bad Dream’ by DVS Gomorra.

There’s a mixture of electro feels in ‘On The Build Up’ by Madhat McGore, ‘Assignment’ by Ashtronomik and ‘Colours’ by Stutter Jack.

‘Hawd Oan’ is a different kind of beat with Guvanile ripping out super smart rhymes, filling the lyrical spaces with phrases only local people might get; lots of play on words cleverly used to paint a picture of urban life.

‘Battle of Mind’ is just as clever, with a more introspective message from B.A.R.E JokeZ, unlike ‘Money Snatcher’ that starts like an exert from some kind of early 80s game track – Young Brido converges these sweet sounds with a not so sweet story.

‘What Can I do’ has a similar backing from Zesh, Garry Fraser paints the reality for many young Scots through a keen use of beats a tone to set a mood that tells of frustrations a self-discovery.

The feeling changes a little bit with a flash back to some old-school soul in ‘Put the Mic on’ from Diamond B and in ‘How it Goes ft. Infidelix’ from Ironmaster.

This brief interlude is broken with a language shift in ‘Lament’ by Bad Eyes, again platforming the diversity and expertise present in this album.

‘In it 2 Win it’ from Sinister South is coming at you with a confident flair, lyrics are bold and set up on some brash beats; simplistic in form but solid in message.

A complete contrast comes next in ‘Introduction 2 Shifty’, but with equally dark content from Shifty Mac, despondent with the state of things.

‘An Artist’s Desent’ is a suitable end to the compilation, Deeko samples a soft little vocal embued with a sense of sadness placed next to the depth and strength of bold rhymes.

Words: Rachel Cunningham

Strange Behaviours at Tolbooth, 25-26/11/16

Tolbooth’s Strange Behaviours has two-day festival returns to Stirling for a third triumphant year.

With 18 acts to choose from, the event is a musical smorgasbord with a genre to please even the pickiest of music fans.

Living up to the events name, this year’s chosen aesthetics are just that – strange; broken and decorated mannequins are placed around the venue – some splashed with paint and one covered entirely in multi-coloured feathers.

A projector had also been set up in the Attic Stage showing scenes from Charlie Brown as well as footage of cakes being iced on a loop and other random background imagery.

Stock Manager kick off proceedings in the Attic Stage – having the most daunting slot on the bill being responsible for setting the tone for the rest of the night.

And they didn’t disappoint, they’re just a proper good rock band – complete with the behaviour (no pun intended) to match the sound.

Whether it be rocking out on the floor, knee slides as they jam together or knocking over parts of their set (sometimes accidently –but we’ll pretend it’s all part of their plan), the rock band persona oozes out of them.

Their music is complete with heavy riffs drops that are worthy of a good head-bang.

A new element has been added to the acts playing in the venue’s Gallery Stage this year – a versus battle but not like you know it.
First to put it to the test on Friday night is Chrissy Barnacle and December ’91.

Barnacle provides us with brutally honest tales of her own love life, filling the gaps between songs with quirky anecdotes and the history behind her tracks.

The personality that poured from her makes her entirely relatable – with a very 21st century view of love and relationships it is almost empowering to hear someone talk so openly about it and put it so eloquently to beautiful acoustic music.

Plus, anyone who can use a Tina Turner reference – “what’s love got to do with it?” – so effortlessly in her set is a hero in my eyes.

Once Barnacle had finished playing a few tracks, the audience had to shuffle through to the adjoining room – where Craig Ferrie aka December ’91 is set up with his guitar. Admitting that he’s not as good with the chat in between songs, he simply lets his music do the talking.

His songs run through a similar theme to Barnacle’s, with love and relationships being the key topic to both acts’ music.

Be Charlotte is up next on the Auditorium Stage – making the wee town of Stirling the last stop on her recent tour around South Asia.

A vision of the 90s in her sheer fluorescent top, oversized glasses and topknot bun, she showcases brand new unnamed material as well as live set staples such as ‘Machines That Breathe’.

Her flawless vocals flow effortlessly from rapping to singing without any backing music – stunning her audience into silence.

Don’t be fooled by her petite appearance, her vocals can encapsulate an entire room and she’s not afraid to call you out for talking through her performance either!

The band I have been looking forward to seeing on the Friday night are The Pale Kids and their set is filled with banter, with frontman Josh declaring “that’s close enough” whilst tuning his guitar for their performance.

Their angsty lyrics and heavy distorted guitars engulf the intimate room; The Pale Kids are definitely a band made for a big stage, it’s impossible not to want mosh along to their music – you should come out of their gig with a headache.

A good headache, like getting brain freeze from eating ice cream.

Closing Friday night’s event is critically renowned guitarist (and occasional singer) RM Hubbert.

The Auditorium Stage becomes a calm haven with Hubby up on the stage sat on a chair with just his guitar and the audience mirror his set up by taking a seat on the floor to enjoy his performance as he captures their imagination with his heartfelt and soulful lyricism.

Never afraid to touch on dark taboo topics like suicide, the sometimes melancholic music contrasts with his personality as he chats openly and honestly with his audience between tracks therefore stopping his performance from getting too heavy – it is a Friday night after all.

Eugene Twist kicks off Saturday night on the Auditorium Stage, bringing his jazzy alt-rock to Stirling.

Twist is regularly compared to the likes of Bob Dylan for his vocal talent (I must admit, his appearance is slightly Dylan-esque as well), however he’s definitely a musician in his own right as he packs his songs with sophisticated lyrics and smooth melodies.

He treats his audience to a special stripped down version of ‘Halloween Drama Queen’ as well as new material to be featured on his upcoming album due in January.

Saturday night sees another versus set take place in the Gallery Stage, this time round it is C R P N T R and The Narcissist Cookbook.

At first look, you’d maybe be confused as to why these two acts had been paired together, but after a few tracks, it’s clear to see that they share a common theme.

As well as both being Stirling locals, their music shows them both to be lyrical wordsmiths.

If you squint a little and ignore the Scottish accent, you could mistake The Narcissist Cookbook for Ed Sheeran; either way, he’s definitely got the same level of talent.

At times, he resembled a one-man-band alternating between guitar and tambourine, whilst using the loop pedal to create a vocal backing track.

Although I can’t empathise with his feelings of distain towards coffee (portrayed through track ‘Sugar In My Coffee’), I have to admit I did find myself singing along to it days after the gig; he just makes damn good catchy music.

Moving through to the next room to watch C R P N T R’s (aka. Owen Sutcliffe) counter-performance, we are greeted by Sutcliffe and his companion donning a walrus mask.

An entirely bizarre set up, but Sutcliffe choses not to be restricted by his stage set up and brings his performance into the crowd as he energetically stomps around the room whilst professing about conundrums surrounding Tesco chicken Caesar wraps.

Sutcliffe creates an entirely immersive performance showing he won’t be kept back by boundaries – both literally and creatively.

Alt-folk musician and visual artist Sarah J. Stanley – playing under alias HQFU – brings the party vibes to the Attic Stage on Saturday night, bringing an end to the acts playing in the intimate stage at the top of the Tolbooth.

Stanley fuses her alt-folk roots with electro pop to create hazy, grungy dance music that’s perfect for a Saturday slot, a home-grown Alice Glass meets Jamie XX – Stanley is definitely one to look up if you like your electronic synth-heavy music.

The Tolbooth never fails to highlight the best Scotland has to offer and they do it best with their Strange Behaviours festival.

If you don’t leave after the two nights with a list of some new favourite artists then you haven’t taken full advantage of the great acts on offer to you.

After three successful years, Strange Behaviours doesn’t show any signs of slowing.

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Words: Laura Imrie