Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip - Angles
Review by Jack Foley
THE mix of Scroobius Pip’s cheeky chappy observational rapping and Dan Le Sac’s electronic soundwaves provides a mostly winning combination on Angles, a better-than-average debut LP that’s hip, biting and occasionally funny.
The duo shot to prominence after their song Look For The Woman ignited the interest of Radio 1 luminaries such as Zane Lowe, who subsequently provided a remix, and Jo Whiley. It offered a catchy mix of hip-hop inflicted beats, radio-friendly electronica and Scroobius’ wry self-depracating look at love and succeeded in delivering some clever insights that were capable of easy appeal to the younger generation.
The rest of the album follows that pattern – sometimes brilliantly, sometimes unsuccessfully. It’s certainly different, though, and confident enough in its own ability to open with a statement of intent lamenting the state of “soulless music and artless lyrics”. Instead, Scroobius promises: “We aint pushing the boundaries, we’re blowing them up”, adding “we’re going to have some fun”.
Taken the right way, that’s exactly what the album offers. And album opener The Beat That Skipped My Heart, with its woozy “la de la” melodies and acoustic guitar riffing, is a good place to begin. It’s almost effortlessly catchy and sets the tone for what is to follow.
Development and Look For The Woman continue the good vibe surrounding proceedings, the former making good use of its stop-start acoustic guitar riffs for a folksy, alt-country feel.
Occasionally, the electronics jar against the vocals and threaten to smother proceedings, or become too urban. Rapper’s Battle and Angles are prime examples of this, while Fixed flirts outrageously and even namechecks Dizzee Rascal at times. It doesn’t work so well, and is more in keeping with the Dizzee Rascal grime sound than the radio-friendly Dan Le Sac formula.
Fortunately, they more often get it right than wrong. Letter From God To Man offers some frank commentary on religion wrapped up in a cool electronic accompaniment, while Tommy C some reassurance about beauty and how it takes all types to appeal. Scroobius has a refreshing honesty about him that’s often quite endearing and his way with words is often quite clever.
Thou Shalt Always Kill, meanwhile, offers a really useful example of how their particular combination works so well, the chiming electronic beats providing a thrilling backdrop to assertions from Scroobius that refer to everything from “not judging Lethal Weapon by Danny Glover” to “thou shall not use poetry, art or music, to get into girls’ pants”.
Taken for what it is, Angles is a frequently fun offering that benefits from the positivity and confidence surrounding it. Just don’t expect it to completely blow you away.
Download picks: The Beat That Skipped My Heart, Look For The Woman, Tommy C, Letter From God To Man, Thou Shalt Always Kill