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Our product to treat is a regular product. There is not the imitation. From Japan by the surface mail because is sent out, take it until arrival as 7-14 day. Thank you for you seeing it.
The third album by Brighton producer Req, Sketchbook sounds roughly like a hip-hop album recorded by Buddhist monks. Not like The Beastie Boys, mind: these are spartan, engrossing instrumentals ready-made for meditative practices. Or, perhaps more realistically, for providing a more spiritual and original chill-out soundtrack than the usual mimsy blandness offered up by that genre. Req has arrived at this peaceful, faintly incense-scented place by an unusual route, having first made his name as a graffiti artist and associate of Norman Cook in Beats International. Two albums for Skint followed, striking for their incongruity amidst the label's internationally renowned troupe of big-beat superstars. Warp seems a more suitable home for him but still, it's hard to think of any obvious kindred spirits. For this is woody, unsteady and strangely affecting music that never seeks to hide how primitively it was made. Roughly-recorded, dulled beats ail and splutter. Tiny cymbals, gongs and flutes drift in from the garden. Unidentifiable stringed instruments are played uncertainly. It could all be a shambles, but Req ensures that the imprecisions signalled by the title are human and delicate rather than annoyingly amateurish. A Sketchbook, then, where the finished versions would be nowhere near as interesting. --John Mulvey
Top Customer Reviews
If you prefer to revel in the feeling of just one or two sounds/loops changing slowly over a four or five minute track (a la Steve Reich), then this is for you. Reminding me of Susumu Yokota's Sakura in many ways, but with more of a hip-hop feel, this could be the album for a lazy summer's afternoon.
A quirky and understated gem. It will be tragically overlooked.
As a whole, the album progresses concept-style from little rhythm pieces (like "I Seek", reminiscient of a your best friend's shambolic band warming up) to robust beaty tracks like "Upstairs" (the album's highlight). The second half explodes into a string of vast ambient epics such as "Java Bites", accompanied by "Loveache" and "3 of 4" which sort of form a gorgeous otherworldly cycle.
This album is undeniably weird, but also extremely chilled out and never uninteresting, so it's always on in the kitchen in our house, which is like having a parallel universe next to the breadbin. That kind of experience is highly reccomended!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I noticed "Sketchbook" in a small CD store downtown and had to pick it up, mostly just because it's on the Warp label. I was pleasantly surprised at what I heard when I put it in my CD player. The first reviewer is very right, it is all very Lo-Fi, kinda muffled sounding. . .but that adds to its charm.
There are some really good beats here, and very subtle melody throughout the album. Yes, the ambient works do become a bit boring, but are enjoyable nonetheless.
I must say, the big masterpiece of this album would be track number 13, "Wasp Zither". It's a very mellow track, the melody sounding of a music box almost. The beat is subtle here, but very heavy, like a heartbeat. It's an emotional song.
Overall, this is a great CD, minus a song here and there (hence, only four stars).
The result? Funky, raw, outsider music reminiscent of the Beastie Boys' instrumentals. The sound is aggressively lo-fi with a "basement tape" feel (in fact the whole album is in mono!). Some of the ambient experiments get a little tedious, but they do provide nice tension-breakers.
Technology is making it possible for just about anyone to make a record nowadays. Sketchbook is proof that that's a good thing!
2 years later and my girlfriend pulls the album out of her CD box. We sit, we listen and the first thing I say is that I thought I'd hate it... but I didn't. I loved it. The tracks I'd heard all that time ago aren't here, no hamsters chewing tin-foil, just beautiful lo-fi beats. It's an album that makes passing the time with nothing to do a joy.