Rat Heart

Rat Heart | Shotta Tapes | STD001


An all-over-the place rendition of scuzzy soul knocks and frazzled steez

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Format: Vinyl
The first album, proper, from Tom Boogizm’s Rat Heart is finally here, an all-over-the place rendition of scuzzy soul knocks and frazzled steez that somehow manages to sound like Arthur Russell, Urban Tribe and The Other People Place all at once. Seriously - AOTY gear right here.

Panel-beating house, rap, post-punk and screwball machine funk into a heavily personalised, bruised sorta soul music, Rat Heart is the sound of pure invention, a delirious exercise in DIY world-building that sounds like it was made with rudimentary gear in a bedroom in south manchester, and yet in our opinion more or less creates its own musical vernacular - blind to any stylistic or technical limitations.

It’s an album that’s basically a portrait of someone with an insatiable appetite for music and a vast pool of ideas - weaving blunted vocals into a claggy mix of thizzed-out atmospheres, mutable rhythms and hot-wired edits with signature, freehanded swagger. It’s a real manc thing too, woozily navigating between a wide spectra of influences guided by instinct, and - like so much music that’s captured us most over the years - plays that trick of sounding both primitive/crudely constructed, while also suggestive of entirely new creative possibilities.

In patented, hungry-belly lo-fi, the production is eviscerated but full of moxie, wringing out brittle but bumptious hardware grooves in all 12 bits. From the aerosoul graffiti of the opener to the rawly offset techno of the closer, it’s proper snakes and ladders styles, switching between clambering funk and squashed rufige with a mazy, game, logic all of its own. No doubt it’s one of the strongest albums from this city in 2021 - possibly in years.

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