It doesn’t seem like nearly six years since Mr. Scruff last released a studio album, but it is. It’s not so much that we’ve missed him, it’s just he seems such an omnipresent, especially in my house. His brilliant Trouser Jazz is still never far from my turntable (and his other albums, including his said last studio album, Ninja Tune are never too far removed), his artwork adorns my recor shelves and walls, his tea bags (yes, tea bags, what of it?) are in my kitchen and, as yet, unopened.
So maybe when you’re a DJ, producer, songwriter, artist, tea-maker, and (more than likely) all-round good guy six years isn’t that long. But whatever, that six-year wait will end on 19th May when his new album Friendly Bacteria is released.
Rejuvenated by his studio absence, Mr Scruff (aka Andrew Carthy) has made an album which, he says is “tougher, sparser, less samples, more bass. More vocals and collaborations and shorter tunes.”
The first glimpse of the album comes in the shape of ‘Render Me’. It opens out with these ever-moving drums, slowly evolving as the track builds. It has this dark soulful sound about it, with a liberal scattering of piano lines and chords. It also features the vocal talents of Denis Jones, who Scruff met when he supported Amp Fiddler in Liverpool a few years ago. Regular jamming led to the Manchester based singer-songwriter featuring heavily on the new album.
“Mr. Scruff & Friends” are taking over the Roundhouse, London – 2pm-11.30pm – on Saturday 31st May. http://www.roundhouse.org.uk/whats-on/2014/mr-scruff/