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SOLO ALBUM – DISTRACTION PIECES
OUT SEPTEMBER 19th ON SPEECH DEVELOPMENT
Amid a roll call of collaborators from the worlds of Rock and leftfield hip-hop, Scroobius Pip releases his solo album Distraction Pieces on September 19th on Speech Development.
With work on the new dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip album set to begin in the new year, Pip – with producers Yilla and Worgie – has drafted in collaborations from Renholder (aka Danny Lohner NIN / A Perfect Circle), Richard Russell (XL), Steve Mason, Sage Francis, P.O.S. Zane Lowe, B Dolan and Aupheus, for a solo record that represents a collision of Punk, Rock and Hip Hop influences.
Distraction Pieces – according to Scroobius Pip:
Introdiction: Produced by Renholder (aka Danny Lohner of Nine Inch Nails / A Perfect Circle). This track is pretty much an introduction to the feel and sound of Distraction Pieces. It sets the tone and mood with levels of darkness, irreverence and straight forwardness. No time to mess around with verse/chorus/verse/chorus on this one I’m afraid!
Let em Come: Featuring from Sage Francis. This was the song that made me want to make this record. I had the lyrics in mind and the general feel. The rumbling, ever present, synth line, the pounding live drums, the cutting guitars. Vocally it’s hard to sum up but I guess it’s about sticking at something that you are passionate about past those exciting first few years, and keeping that passion despite the obstacles and pitfalls.
Domestic Silence: This is just going back to telling stories. And, as ever (it’s me after all), it gets dark and depressing! But there is sunshine in there somewhere! I think…
Try Dying: Produced by Richard Russell (XL/Gil Scott Heron). This one is about man’s obsession with staying on this planet as long as he can. Always trying to claw those extra few bleak years. Punching through the subject without hanging around too long and ending on a rousing bit of chanting! Splendid.
Death of The Journalist: Produced by Zane Lowe. This is about the effects the internet, blogs and developments in media have had on the art of journalism. Freedom of information vs Quality of information.
Soldier Boy (Kill Them): Beat by Aupheus, guest vocals from B Dolan. This is just looking, once again, about the modern role of the soldier. No longer just a protector of our own land but a protector of the land of others too (whether they want it or not).
The Struggle: Produced by Steve Mason (Beta Band/King Biscuit Time). This is a bit of a blues number. But tweeked appropriately. Kind of just telling a story and kind of looking at “celebrity” 50 odd years on from when cinema and TV pushed the idea to new levels.
Broken Promise: This is a reflective look on how time makes everyone good and evil. How many times in your youth did you promise to love someone for ever? Or even just that, no matter how things end up, you would always be there for them? And how many of them do you now ignore/hide on facebook?
Feel It: This is a cover of my favourite Kate Bush song. With vocals from Natasha Fox.
Distinctively attired in trucker cap, charity shop suit and THAT beard, Scroobius Pip is a leading light and unmistakable face of the UK’s spoken word scene.
Having jacked in the role of punk-bass-player for a marginally more stable career in poetry, Scroobius Pip has been proffering his everyman polemics since the mid-2000s. Performing on street corners or spoken word stages, for queueing gig goers or reverential Jazz audiences, Pip became synonymous with a burgeoning post-millennial scene.
In a scene revived by cultural unease, political disaffection and a desire for lyrical content, Pip brought an unfailing wit and disarming stage persona to the uncomfortable truths of the day; such crowd-pleasing themes as self harm, domestic violence, and whether watching Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks is a worthwhile use of our precious, readily commodified time.
Now best known as one half of unlikely chart bothering duo dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip, it was the need to get ‘a proper job’ and pay for his homespun solo debut No Commercial Breaks – now an eBay collectors item – that brought the two together.
Despite growing up in the same Essex village Stanford Le Hope, the pair’s paths had barely crossed before they shared a Christmas season working at the Lakeside branch of HMV. After a brief creative courtship – sharing Myspace links and remixes – their very first collaboration struck gold. Hot off the CDR burner, their first song Thou Shalt Always Kill was sent to XFM’s John Kennedy in demo form and within 24 hours Kennedy had played the track on his show. Pip swiftly set up a Myspace page with their solitary track… “Suddenly it went crazy – everyone was emailing the track to other people, so the only thing to do was borrow £200 and make a video.” That video has now chalked up 3.5million views on YouTube and the single’s hastily arranged release on Lex cracked the Top 40.
Shunning the inevitable major label overtures, Messrs le sac and Pip opted to sign to Rob da Bank’s Sunday Best label, ensuring that their critically acclaimed debut album became one of the leading independent releases of 2008. Released in May ’08, Angles arrived just 12 months after the first fruits of their partnership had hit the airwaves. The duo’s welcome but unexpected rise, saw them working on tracks for their debut in the back of Pip’s Toyota Space Wagon, in between the growing list of festival, TV and radio engagements. That this ad-hoc germination should produce such a cohesive and thought-provoking work, is testament to dan le sac’s production work and the enduring appeal of Pip’s word play.
Angles entered the Top 40 and in the subsequent 18 months, the duo toured Europe and the US to an expanding live following. Visually and musically dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip defy any prefab industry model, their towering structures of Casio enthused electro-hip-pop often cutting against the conventions of Radio programming. And yet they have become airwave and chart regulars, their first album providing the singles Beat That My Heart Skipped, Look For The Woman and the Radiohead sampling A Letter From God To Man. Their 2010 follow-up, the beat heavy lit-pop tour de force, The Logic Of Chance followed its predecessor into the Top 40 with a raft of critical acclaim and a bewildering amount of radio play for a pair whose sound stubbornly refused to ‘fit in’. With the free-flowing opener Sick Tonight, old school dancefloor hip-hop of The Beat and the euphoric Italo-disco of Get Better, le sac Vs Pip continued to conduct a great leap forward in alternative conscious pop.
With a microscope on violent crime stats (Great Britain), a declaration on the individuals role in a Democracy (Stake A Claim) and the perils of late night rail travel (Last Train Home); Scroobius Pip delivered direct and true on the state of the nation, while dan le sac delivers his most advanced and eclectic soundtrack yet.
So, 4 years on from that first unexpected radio play, with a collected cast of eyebrow-raising collaborators Scroobius Pip’s alternative pop persona re-unites with that jilted teenage Punk. Scroobius Pip’s Distraction Pieces is released this September 19th on his own Speech Development label.