Album: Nick & Astro’s Guide To The Galaxy
Release Date: May 11, 2018
Genre: Spud loving lo-fi head nodding future hop
One Line Review: Vancouver based Potatohead People offer up a steaming heaping helping of relaxed paced, angularly ambient, casually cadenced, instantly infectious, low futuristic-fi hip-hop with their sophomore release Nick & Astro’s Guide To The Galaxy.
Full Review: When one thinks of comfort, that feeling of relaxed ease and complete complacency, what images come to mind? A crackling fireplace sharing space with a loved one under a blanket on a winter’s night? The meditative movement of an open fire pit, sharing conversation with family and friends while roasting marshmallows and making s’mores? Perhaps a purring cat laying on a napping chest, the sedative vibrations of happiness opening ones core to the simple pleasures contained in stillness and sound?
Or the potato, majestically warm with white steam emitting from its soft, bountiful centre, the thick texture peel revealing the contained satin fluffed mounds of delectable pleasure?
Did I lose everyone on the potato imagery? If your diet is as restrictive as mine, the potato becomes quite the comfort food, as anyone who has made a vegetable potato stew, or eaten potatoes for a week straight, can attest.
Sonically, a room full of potatoes would seem less comforting, perhaps a little off-putting, a reveal shot of a basement full of serial killer stalking potatoes in a surprise twist during a Troma film. Unless, of course (here comes the set-up!) it is a room containing the Potatohead People, a low-fi, hip-hop future fusion of relaxed beats and casual cadence.
Vancouver based Potatohead People, the dub-sonic duo of producers Nick Wisdom and Astrological, have been garnishing high praise and hyped attention with their “J Dilla-esque hip-hop / future electronic feel” sound, a combination of low-fi beats and laid back cadence, pop hooks with an eased sensibility.
Their much-anticipated sophomore release Nick & Astro’s Guide To The Galaxy continues their distinctive signature sound as an introduction for new listeners, and a strong sequel for returning fans, an Empire Strikes Back of experimental future hop, if you will.
There is the part of the review where I dissect the album track by track or discuss a few key track examples representing the album in its entirety. Instead, here is an overly long-winded paragraph using my favourite self-generated descriptions of Nick & Astro’s Guide To The Galaxy which will give you the reader, and soon to be listener, an overextended simile and metaphor-laden comparison.
Without further ado (with semi-colon overload pending):
Potatohead People’s sophomore release Nick & Astro’s Guide To The Galaxy is cool low-fi funk, with a light groove, for effortless head bobbing happiness containing a chill lounge aesthetic cooler than martini drinking penguins in Antarctica; Mortal Kombat’s Sub Zero nighttime low-riding on the Hollywood strip; an opioid heavy King Tubby spinning dub in a Finish submarine; Justin Timberlake air dancing in a blue neon-lit ice cold shower on Neptune; or dance party music on Krypton; head nodding for shoe gazers; classy tailored sweat pants that don’t have “Insert Here” written on the backside; a sonic smoking jacket with fuzzy bunny ear slippers; the soundtrack to the trippiest suspended animation journey to the farthest depths of the sea; the meditative mood music Doomsday hummed while being projectile chained to a giant meteor; Douglas Adams clever with double entendre subtext.
Or, simply put, a great low future-fi ambient groove album.
Potatohead People’s sophomore album Nick & Astro’s Guide To The Galaxy, released through Bastard Jazz Recordings, is available now, today, everywhere. Physical vinyl and intangible digital copies available. Pony up, groove down and chill the spud out!
The Riz is a prolific multi-genre songwriter, lyricist, writer and bassist for “Demolition Rock” sensation Ultimate Power Duo. A staple of the Saskatoon music scene, he has toured extensively across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. The Riz is also the composer and saxophone player for R. Muttering, an avant-garde soundscape improvisational electro-acoustic performance art and recording group. Besides his Bachelor of Music in Music Education (B. Mus. (Mus. Ed.) / B. Ed. (Mus.)) from the University of Saskatchewan, he has amazing comic and vinyl collections.