I once saw Surkin in an arcade in Japan. I’d been living there for a few months and was in an arcade in Shinsekai (the only neighborhood where you can still run into a bloodied mob member and transexual dance troupe on the same block) losing a game of Tekken 6 against some teenager who was playing as a gigantic panda. Surkin walked by past my console just as the panda kicked my character in the face, and I was temporarily stunned to see the prodigious producer doing who-knows-what in a grimy arcade far from France.
But hearing High Powered Boys’ (Surkin + Bobmo) first offering on Sound Pellegrino, Surkin’s presence in Japan makes a bit more sense – “Udon” feels like a tribute to the crowded arcades and crammed walkways of Shinsaibashi at night, packed full of turbulent noise and voices layered on percussion layered on more voices.
Julio Bashmore’s reworking is more like walking the streets of Shinjuku right at the moment at 5am when exhausted ravers are stumbling home on the train at the same time that the businessmen are going to work. Bashmore centers the beat around a sole saxaphone solo coming out of the shadows, Gerry Rafferty “Baker Street” style.
Meanwhile, “Work” and it’s accompanying Tom Trago remix are both bouncy firestarters that make devastatingly effective use of an infectious beat and crooning “oh girl” sample.
As a sad counterpoint to this amazing release, inspirational and trendsetting former Sound Pellegrino mother label Institubes has announced that it will be closing shop.
You can read more about the end of Institubes from their post here, which cites “a post-apocalyptic, terminally pauperized landscape, complete with irradiated A&R zombies and mutated eyeless bloggers” as well as a defective “post-Napster economy” as some of the reasons they’re calling it quits. Sound Pellegrino will now be operating as an independent entity, and Bobmo, Para One and Surkin just announced the birth of their new label called MARBLE, home to their (many) upcoming singles, including a new EP coming from Das Glow.
So, if you’d like to do something to ensure that the labels that shaped your influences and inspired you can survive through following years, consider grabbing the new Sound Pellegrino release here.
High Powered Boys – Udon
High Powered Boys – Rippin Off Canvas Mix (via Sound Pellegrino)
Sound Pellegrino Podcast Episode 16 (featuring Bobmo & Surkin of High Powered Boys)
(Thanks to XLR8R for Udon)