Interludes After Midnight is the upcoming fifth release from New York hip-hop/beats producer, Blockhead. With a very chilled-out vibe that paints the picture of RJD2 having a smoke in a rainy metropolis version of Café del Mar, Interludes After Midnight is a deep and shady exploration into beat-driven music.
Admittedly, when I was first presented the chance to review the album, having no prior knowledge of Blockhead or his work, I was hoping to fall face first into a hard-hitting dance album, but what I found was a grooving, lounge album that fills the room without taking it over. It is arguably impossible not to fall into the music without even being aware that you are bouncing along in your seat.
Simple beats with enough hook to reel in the biggest hipster who is too cool to dance along, Blockhead knows how to build a song slowly without ever letting you slip into a state of boredom. It is a nice reminder that electronic music doesn’t have to make you stomp your shoes on the dance floor but can just be something you listen to because it is good music.
Panic in Funkytown stands out as a track that manages to be upbeat without tapping into a cheery nature that draws away from a clear and present album style. We then leave Funkytown to feeling Hungover Like Whoa, a more downbeat balance to the previous track, but no less driven.
Smoke Signals is one of my favourites on the album as it probably has the most full sounds, taking in elements of funk, hip hop, electronic, dance and lounge. There is a bit of edge to the whole album but it shines through particularly in Smoke Signals and you can really feel it in the accents of every beat.
Tools of the Industry is right up there with it, picking up the tempo in a way that makes it sound like it was a remix taken from the TRON: Reconfigured album. The vocal arrangement creates a brainwashing sensation that the rest of the album has been leading up to.
A dark, and driving album, Interludes After Midnight is hypnotically calming, and driving all in one go. It offers something that you don’t find in most mainstream music. Every beat, every effect, every sound is well calculated and arranged in a way that creates a constant flow from start to finish. This is not an album of number one hits. This is not an album of singles. This is just an album, and a damn good one at that.