Shoes in a marketplace in Marrakech, Morocco
Elsewhere by Graham Reid

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DJ T-Rock and Squashy Nice: Getting Through (Why)

DJ T-Rock and Squashy Nice: 43 Flavours of Jam
DJ T-Rock and Squashy Nice: Getting Through (Why)

At the start of this slightly mad but always enjoyable hip-hop mash-up a sampled voice says, “welcome to a new kind of listening experience . . . this record is different/different/different”.

But that's not entirely true. As a clever meltdown of supple beats, rapid scratching, samples from obscure Southern country-soul, Mexican horns, bumpin' bass and much more from some long forgotten record collection, this goes back to the mid 80s when open-minded hip-hop was riding on wit, eccentricity and a love of the quirky.

And enjoying the pleasure of pulling odd music together with no political agenda but just because it sounded good – or funny.

T-Rock and Squashy Nice are apparently from southern USA (this, their third album is released on a New Zealand label) and there's something of the more languid days about this utterly unpredictable collection of often soulful songs (the aching Why Should I Go On early up and Baby Come Home later) punctuated by oddball $2 riffs, surface-noise soundbites and the occasional voice mentioning “43 flavours of jams and jellies” (with jazz flute).

Yes, it's silly and unashamed fun, but seriously clever.

Very welcome.

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