From The Charlatans to Mogwai, Blueprint skateboards was never afraid to exploit local talent in its skateboard videos. A breath of emo (before it was a cuss word), fresh air at the time, because nobody before really had thought about using some of these shy, staring-at-their-shoes-through-a-whole-live-show, indie UK pop bands before. Mind you, not so long ago all the Morrisseys and Belle And Sebastians out there were just deemed as the un-manly man’s choice. Oh, sweetness…
Anyway as it became one of the brand’s trademark, the music selection in their fourth video was tight, sharp, sur mesure. What were its soundtrack’s top three albums? Very hard to say. Of course, you already own a bunch of stuff by The Cure and Bob James, so that’s two down. For the rest, since no classic rock will ever be talked about here as you just need to raid your car tuning enthusiast uncle’s record collection to find all the gems (You might get a bunch of football scarves too, so really, you’re contemplating a win-win situation here), you might notice that this eighth installment of A Visual Sound is, for once, soul oldies-free. Enjoy! It won’t last…
The Delgados: Hate
Tune used: Coming In From The Cold (Danny Brady pt.1)
Ten or so years before fakengers were trying to figure out what to do with their pristine, expensive, fixed-gear bikes all over innocent urban landscapes, classic bicycling was… not cool, dude. Therefore a perfect inspiration for one of these depressed indie brit pop bands, who decided to name themselves after the Spanish champ Pedro Delgado. On a definitely negative trip, which led to the beautiful simplicity of these antiheroes’ fourth studio album’s title, The Delgados disbanded just as Lost And Found came out, yet they had time to illustrate what independence is about.
Partial to their own cheery record label Chemikal Underground, the only times they put out music on others (Mantra, Radar) was out of being too broke to afford the costs. Slightly different than say having a Gest board on Krooked, but pretty sure some similitudes can be found…
Back to the 2002 tune Coming In From The Cold: Emma Pollocks’s voice and her melancholic partners’ “symphonic pop” beautifully fit Danny Brady’s powerful, yet emotional, lines, especially since most of them are offered in a paysage of cobblestone, marble and grey skies. The perfect skating/music/environment marriage. Imagine The Delgados on a session at the Venice Pit, for instance. Wrong. As they all went their separate ways, their message remains though, as the opening title of this album suggests : All We Need Is Hate. It just takes a minimum effort. Think about all the fakengers in the streets, I don’t know.
(See the part here)
Skinnyman: Council Estate Of Mind
Tune used: I’ll be surprised (Neil Smith pt.1)
Standing on the exact opposite side of the spectrum than Big Pun, Skinnyman is white, British, thin-boned. Oh, and alive too, after a life full of his own tribulations started in Leeds some odd-34 years ago. Pretty much to-the-point kind of nom de guerre, especially when you consider the usual intricate references demonstrated by UK rappers when it comes to naming oneself –Skinnyman’s Mud Family buddy, Chester P, got his from a ‘70s psychedelic comic book called Brainstorm, never forget.
Besides that, Skinny’s fat-free rhymes, thanks to the string samples and a bit of a Barrington Levy-esque chorus line, blend in harmoniously in the soundtrack, and make the only hip-hop tune in Lost And Found not look like a cold sore on a supermodel’s face. Even better, Skinny’s street toughness somewhat echoes Neil Smith’s numerous drops from Mach-2 manuals. “The album is my means of expressing myself through a council estate of mind, through the urban surroundings that we face,” Skinny explained in an interview. “Whether the failure in the education system or whether it’s harassment from police, whether it’s the alleviation through drugs to escape the harsh realities of the pressures of the urban ghetto developments.” Get it? The man can rhyme, he can talk too. And he’s not alone. For those who didn’t know yet, the UK scene bares a bunch of excellent MCs, so make sure to check works by Braintax, the Task Force collective, Ricochet Klashnekoff, Dynamite MC and such. Fuck the Hook, Skinny says. How about autotune once for all, we ask.
(see the part here)
Sixto Rodriguez : Cold Fact
Tune used : Sugarman (Danny Brady pt.2)
Yeah, sorry for the ten other skaters in this vid, but let’s talk again about a tune courtesy of “Danny Brady the wanker”, as a little kid calls him in his outro. No way around this, for Sixto Rodriguez has reached such mythical status among music collectors’ circles.
Firstly, because for whatever reason, Sixto, born in Detroit in 1942, is huge in South Africa and Australia, the only places where his music was ever widely distributed. Also because the first album that Sugarman comes from, Cold Case, was recorded in 1969 and became the textbook underground sensation (but was released in South Africa in 1971, then 1974, hence his success over there), as did his second, 1971 effort Coming From Reality before his record label dropped him flat.
In perfect Gino Ianucci fashion, Sixto then proceeded to disappear from 1981 to 1997 with such perfection that his fans thought him dead. It took two of them to contact his daughter through a forum for the world to rediscover what pure genius Sixto, or “Rodriguez” as he used to go by, is.
The music itself? Hard to describe. A folkish backbone beefed up by psychedelic, groovy and sometimes free jazz touches. The tune Sugarman epitomizes this vast array of influences, and we’re not talking strictly music here as Rodriguez frequently calls to his “sweet Mary-Jane” in it. To sum the myth all up, imagine if Elvis flexed with hippy/marxist rethorics, became “sing-along in bars”-famous on the other side of the earth and was found alive and well twenty years later. And that after all that, if he had one of the best tunes in a skate video called Lost And Found. Talk about going full circle.
(see the part again here, never hurts, and wait til 3.29)