Loose Lips

V/A – SKP-VL:001 (Skoop Records)

Release Review

V/A – SKP-VL:001 (Skoop Records)

The Skoop boys are a fun-loving, hardworking group of MCs and producers operating in Scotland’s picturesque and perpetually wet capital, Edinburgh. A “mad God’s dream” for most of the year, and a mad, theatrical carnival for the month of August, it’s a place of doldrums and bourgeois, brimming with inspiration. They chat shit about flat earthers and imported lobster, blend high/low/pop culture with a fiercely independent approach to production, and shun trend and convention. They make beats in a repurposed shed in an Old Town close, with a spaceship’s worth of equipment and some truly Apollo 13 egg carton soundproofing (completely waterproof as well, I’m assured).

“Mind travel like Cape Town to Bucharest / a spaced-out moon cadet / Straight out the cuckoo’s nest”

The collective’s first compilation, SKP-VL:001, features contributions from a zoo of colorful characters: Sean 'El Papillion', Foula, Cleaverhype, Tzusan, 22Dolphins, SWVN, Teknique, PATA and more. They’re beatmakers, MCs, producers and spliff smokers. As indicated by the title, this is the collective’s first proper compilation, an awakening of the extensive Skoop crew, as it were. Across 18 tracks they fully capture the misanthropic energy of living in the Scottish shadows – disillusioned, fucked off, ready to fight, or ready to take a walk up Calton Hill and blaze the worries away. For the number of artists involved it’s a sonically cohesive comp, with each piece fitting together like that perfectly candid squad photo.

It’s hard to encapsulate the range of material Skoop has mastered here (I guess that’s what listening is for), but I’ll try. Lo-fi hiss coats the masters. Subterranean UK bass rumbles and blows the mix wide open. Sounds of police cars, upright basses, extraterrestrial probes, chiptunes, and screwed vocal samples are prevalent. The compilation is structured so that bar-heavy tracks are separated by more relaxed instrumentals. “Yoshi” by DM, “By the time u get this” by Dearly Beloved, and “Venus” by El Papillon are some standout downtempo beats, heavy enough to rock the basement to, but heady enough to kick back and enjoy during the afterparty. The rhymes are fun, frenzied, and endlessly clever – CRPNTR on “Skoop Like It’s Soup”, Teknique on “Stupid”, Tzusan playing the bilingual existential on “Don Hertzfeld”, boys will have you scrubbing back to catch all the similes. It’s a raucous affair the whole way through, one that makes you itch to party with the Skoop lads.

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https://skoop.bandcamp.com/album/skp-vl-001

Released June 24, 2017