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Crate Digging: Seb Whyte, Soho Music

Music & Sound
London, UK
The sixteenth episode in the music discovery and discussion series from Concord Recorded Music

Crate Digging is a music discovery platform where contributors take home and discuss two records from across Concord Recorded Music’s active and historical labels.

Seb Whyte, music supervisor at Soho Music, discusses his top two finds.

My frontline find is Action Bronson’s Crocodrillo Turbo

Action Bronson is a rapper that I feel has never truly gotten his flowers, and as someone who’s always wanted an excuse to shout about how unjustly under-appreciated he is, Crocodrillo Turbo was an easy pick for my frontline album.

For me, there’s something so admirable in his nonchalant confidence; he is always incredibly self-assured and never measures his own success by anyone else’s metric. This laidback demeanor and liberal approach to his music results in an authenticity that other rappers can spend their whole career striving for and imitating.

The charm of all Action Bronson’s albums, and particularly the latter Loma Vista years, is the genre-bending production and easy-going bravado of his bars.

As with most of his discography you can expect Sopranos references and a distinctly offhand delivery, but across recent years Bronson has honed his craft in pairing himself with producers that compliment his persona with groovy, psychedelic and hazy beats that have an old school charm with a distinctly modern and lo-fi sensibility. 

Despite this being his seventh album, the novelty is far from worn off and all of these characteristics are still at play; the result is one of his best projects in a while.

The back half of the album from 'Jaguar' through to 'Storm Of The Century' is the winning streak for me.

I do think part of what makes Action Bronson so alluring is his throwaway attitude and refusal to compromise, he never appears preoccupied with mainstream success. As such, I would imagine that sync opportunities are less commonplace for him, particularly with regard to advertising.

Although, that being said, the man has established himself as such an iconic pop culture figure in his own right, I think he’d be ripe for partnership deals and cameo appearances in films/tv, maybe with a sync element attached…

For my catalogue pick, I went for 'I, Jonathan'. I’ve always loved Jonathan Richman and this album  has been one that I seem to subliminally revisit while on holiday or travelling over the past few years.

As big a fan as I consider myself of The Modern Lovers, Richman’s solo work and this album in particular, surpasses all others in my book… 

I consider this to be one of the most successful observational and escapist albums I’ve ever listened to, filled with soothing, wholesome and free-flowing acoustic ballads.

The album is unparalleled in setting a scene through vivid and candid narration. Richman’s lyricism is humble, personal and plainspoken, everything is described in simple terms with deep sincerity. Resulting in something that is nostalgic, peaceful, charming and whimsical all at once.

The more reflective moments of 'Twilight In Boston' and 'That Summer Feeling' are my personal favourite moments of the record, these really highlight the bittersweet nostalgic quality of Richman’s music that I think makes this such an affecting album.

That being said, I would be doing this album a disservice to not mention 'Tandem Jump' and (of course) 'I Was Dancing In A Lesbian Bar' as the other undeniable and more playful highlights..

I think that Jonathan Richman has a uniquely cinematic quality to his music. For me, 'Twilight In Boston' always conjures imagery of a dreamy and cathartic closing scene to a series or film.

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