It’s incredible how music can transport you to different places and different periods, this phenomenon has never been truer in recent years, than with 2010’s Gin Diaries by German producer Suff Daddy. If you have been left wanting this summer for a soundtrack to chill the fuck out to, after an ailing year of exams, work or whatever – then this could well be just the tonic. Plus double measures of Tanqueray… Freshly squeezed lemon juice, maybe even a dubious maraschino cherry sitting pretty on top? If the infamous Tom Collins has become a timeless cocktail to be especially enjoyed in summer, then Gin Diaries could become a timeless album to be imbibed down the ear canal. Certainly the essence of the record is one of relaxation, musings of love and life and something too of the autobiographic. The producer himself revealed that the record’s 13 tracks are snapshots of his life, or audio journals if you will; you need look no further than the intriguing double entendre of opening track ‘I Need a Break’ for some proof of this… There are more than mere hints of a plethora of far more established artists styles permeating the record at various junctures, as evidenced by ‘4 My Holiks’ that has DJ Premier seemingly written all over it, not a bad thing surely? The album also boasts Jazz sensibilities with some tasty Rhodes work on ‘Jimmy Jazz’, as well as that classic vinyl-cracking vintage soul sampling from the much coveted Golden Era of Hip Hop, found throughout Gin Diaries. We really found this record, or rather – series of movements in memory, to be a celebration of that very same ‘golden’ era.
Standout track ‘Feelin Fly Feat. Mariama’, reminds us of when RnB was good. TLC or Mary Mary could easily have featured as guest vocalists had the track been produced with them in mind back in the day. ‘Ozdemir’, with it’s tranquil keys and acetate crunches, slow punctuating and understated snare work works to provide the listener with a sort of Balearic idyll, this might well prove to be the antidote to an Ibizan 3 day rampage. ‘Worst Case Szenario’ seems to hint to a lost love and the painful loss that tugs at the heartstrings following a breakup. Something we can all relate to: the sped up and helium induced vocals of the the sampled vocal tell the whole story: “Now you say that we are through, well you found somebody new, you say that I’m no good for you / yet you ask me – what will I do? This is all I’ve got to say to you – Oh, you don’t know what you got until you lose it…” Crafted with simplicity, understatement, tasteful arrangement and propriety of appropriate musical heritage, this seems to be the mission statement from Suff himself.
This album is actually more of an album than many, in that it is a body of work tied together by a common set of themes. There is one identifiable sound throughout, whether it’s the vintage soul sampling, the classic RnB melodies and production, the vinyl crackling, the silky bass licks and drum grooves, or Germany’s answer to Lauren Hill, one Fleur Earth featuring on ‘Oh Bebe’, this album, with all due respect to the individual tracks, is more like one big juniper berry infused nostalgia voyage. There is a considered tackling of the heritage behind hip hop and breakbeats, via the medium of what are mainly instrumental pieces, right as far back as Jazz through the soul, funk and disco eras right up to 90’s classic hip hop. Even the kitsch faded cover with it’s classic Porsche 911 sat in a driveway outside a Tuscan villa harmonises beautifully with the gentle head-nod electric relaxation that lies within.
Stream: [wpaudio url=”https://truantsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/01-4-My-Holiks.mp3″ text=”Suff Daddy – 4 My Holiks” dl=”0″]
Stream: [wpaudio url=”https://truantsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/12-Feelin-Fly-Feat.-Mariama.mp3″ text=”Suff Daddy – Feelin Fly Feat. Mariama” dl=”0″]
Stream: [wpaudio url=”https://truantsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/13-Ozdemir.mp3″ text=”Suff Daddy – Ozdemir” dl=”0″]