The Spot Check. You should know how we roll by now. We get artists from around the world to open up the masses of music stored away on their hard drives, have five tracks selected at random, and then attempt to explain away any embarrassing tracks that might have found their way into the selection. Pass or fail? Well, thats your call.
Sometimes you have to search hard on the internet to find a writer worth reading. I’m not entirely sure how I stumbled across Ringometry.Com, but it was one of those sites that went straight into the bookmarks. The site is run by Ringo P, a Brighton resident who I don’t think I’ve ever met, at least not knowingly, whose no bullshit writing style is a breath of fresh air in a world where many writers are worried about giving an artist a less than glowing review. Anyway, I tracked him down and asked him to be the next participant in our little series, and after putting up a little fight, he agreed. So lets hand over to the man himself.
“The thing about Random Spot Check I’m not sure about is… it feels like a judgement on the person, not the hard drive. And my hard drive is full of shit. I know it’s shit. I don’t want to be judged on that! It’s there for reference, or the day sometime in the future when I’ve got nothing better to do and decide to sort through the crap (ten volumes of Nas’ Library Of A Legend, thirty-six volumes of Prince bootleg The Work, four Beyonce albums and so on) to find the rare gems worth keeping. There is no way I’m going to defend every single track on there. Based on most times I hit random I would vote against myself, though. Opening the experience up to public vote seems like quite a self-destructive thing to do. On the other hand, Koaste tells me this will help get word out about Ringometry, and The273 is cool, so I guess I ought to. Here goes…”
• Ringo P
1./ Frank Zappa – Variations On Sinister #3 – Guitar
“Zappa was an early musical love. I used to make sure my preschool friends heard the sweary bit on ‘Road Ladies’ every time they came round to play. ‘Isn’t this great?’ I’d say as Zappa warned us about a band that ‘played the most terriblest shit you ever heard’. I suppose I should be a little bit embarrassed that I’ve got a double CD of his guitar solos on my hard drive, but that’s actually the side of him I like best now. Especially from his later years, when a lot of the songs were quite bad and his band was horribly slick he’d still play this amazingly filthy guitar. This is…okay. I’ve heard more exciting Zappa solos, though.”
2./ Big K.R.I.T. – Putcha Sign In The Air – See Me On Top Vol 1
“At one point last year I was supposed to be interviewing Big K.R.I.T. so I reached back and downloaded his first mixtape from 2005. It’s way more gangsta than he is now, in a really scratchy lo-fi way. I suppose like the difference between the second and third UGK albums. He sounds younger, more energetic, there’s a great amateur enthusiasm about it. I’m in two minds about his more recent stuff. I liked K.R.I.T. Wuz Here, it sounded like a big personal achievement, but the follow up Return Of 4 Eva sit seemed a bit like he’d run out of subject matter. A couple of good tracks but overall pretty boring. I’ve just downloaded the new one 4 Eva N A Day and I’m thinking of jotting down my first impressions of it for Ringometry, but I’m pretty apprehensive. Going by his recent trajectory I’m worried this one might turn out to be totally ambient.”
3./ Danny Bones – In My Ghetto – Bootleg Vol 1
“I grabbed this after seeing a video of his that impressed me, can’t remember which one. I think maybe I’d thought he was going to be the new Skinnyman or something. He seemed to have not just the social conscience but the kind of self-righteous fire than Skinny had at his peak. This is pretty weak, though, just a bunch of random cliches thrown together without much energy or apparent thought. I remember feeling pretty let down by the tape as a whole. Not a big fan of auto-tune, anyway. In the right hands it can be mindblowing, but this obviously comes from that phase a couple of years back when everyone seemed to be pissing about with it for a laugh.”
4./ Parliament – Let Me Be – Chocolate City
“The absolute dons. I don’t think anyone would claim this is one of their better tracks, but it’s still great. They were totally incapable of making dull music, even their ballads have this wonderful manic energy. I’ve no shame in saying I’ve got all of the 70s P-Funk stuff on my hard-drive. They changed everything about the way I listened to music, I was pretty much an indie kid (of the grunge-era type) until I discovered Funkadelic. It took about thirty seconds of their music for me to realise everything I’d heard in my life until then was at best second rate. How can anyone take Pavement seriously once they’ve heard George Clinton?”
5./ Kinfolk Thugs – House Full Of Thugs
“I know nothing about these guys at all, I can’t remember where I got this from. This is pretty formulaic post-Jeezy southern trap-rap. It’s a great formula, if I could only listen to one kind of music for the rest of my life I might be tempted to choose trap-rap. This has the necessary levels of aggression but isn’t stupid enough to be truly great. Needs a few goons going ‘pow! pow! pow!’ in the background, really.”
Well there you go. Once again, a nicely eclectic slice of music from our invited guest. But we like being judgemental here at The 273, so let me know whether these five tracks would make you allow Ringo to be in control of the music at your birthday party. Once again peoples, leave your comments below. And make sure you take a moment to go check out Ringometry.Com