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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

HOPKINS, Clutchy - Walking Backwards

HOPKINS, Clutchy - Walking Backwards (Ubiquity) Comentários: Don't ask me who Clutchy Hopkins is; I don't know. There's a line of people waiting to learn his whereabouts. If you find out, perhaps you will be kind enough to hand over the contact info for the mysterious trickster, folklore guru, and marvelous musician. Because of his anonymity, this won't be your average press release. I don't have any of the usual stuff: no insight into his background, no list of influences or interesting anecdotes about his musical upbringing. Instead, what follows is the abbreviated version of how this album came to be by way of thrift store finds, red herrings, a pizza parlor, and a list of characters long enough to cast a b-movie.I can tell you that this album might as well be the crackly soundtrack to a vintage spaghetti western crossed with a 70s porno. Rickety breaks n'beats and busted keyboard sounds pop out against lush strings, while a collection of guitars and mandolins strum alongside old-school synthesizers. Some tunes are hypnotic and build around a droning rumble or relentless chords while others are driving or change up to reveal new intentions. It's an eerie blend of dusty-bar blues, mariachi soul and hard times funk that sounds like it was recorded in a backyard shack somewhere remote, in a small town where kids throw stones at each other for fun.By strange coincidence label-mate Darondo is on one track, while Shawn Lee and Todd Simon (Connie Price and The Lions) were also dragged into the proceedings to complete the album. We're not exactly sure how these collaborations came to be; we're just relieved to have a finished copy.We first became interested in releasing new tunes by Hopkins when we discovered reel-to-reel tapes, marked "C.H.", at the Bargain Town Thrift Store in the Mojave Desert. A chance encounter with a woman who claimed to have once owned the tapes led us to The Misled Children, supposed messengers of Hopkins. This long-haired, note scribbling, double talking duo came by the Ubiquity office and, after drinking our fridge dry, made a deal to deliver an album's worth of Hopkins tunes. They gave us two tracks and then, over the course of a year, sent a dead pigeon, a half-empty jigsaw puzzle, and a purple v-neck sweater. No album appeared in the post. Eventually, a napkin from Mama C's Restaurant arrived in an envelope. On it was written "Go see Johnny Brooklyn at Valentino's Pizza Place; he has your music, creep." At the back table, Mr. Brooklyn was waiting, album master in hand. We never heard from the Misled Children again, although we've been told they've been sending rude notes to Shawn Lee.Prior to our release, an album called 'Who is Clutchy Hopkins' was made available in short supply. A further CD surfaced, featuring an apparent collaboration between Hopkins and MF Doom. On closer inspection, this was a collection of rare Doom joints backed with new Hopkins' music.Since we made our intentions known to distribute more Hopkins material, we've been contacted by people who claim to have known, spotted, slept with, smoked, or gone through life-changing events with him. To these people, we apologize. We can't help put you in touch. We're just as in the dark as you. We hope you like the album. Keep an eye on or for Clutchy sightings, movies and interviews.*FYI - The second disc of this 2 CD set will include taped confessionals, interviews and archived footage of Mr Hopkins, collected from various sources and anonymously mailed packages.Yours sincerely, Andrew Jervis, A+R, Ubiquity Recordings, Inc. [Para Ouvir/Samples]

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