You know how sometimes you're walking along the street and you suddenly become Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, pondering how to merge jazz, hiphop, the Middle East and 20th century music into a pleasing, full-bodied cup of coffee? You get that too? See, I knew it wasn't just me. Tell me if this sounds familiar:
You're strolling down the shadowy alleys of a souk when a gold-toothed chap stands in your way and tries to interest you in a double bass, some reverberating middle-easterny woodwind, a cheeky saxophone and his shop's finest hand-made dusty beat. You agree to his offer, providing he throws in a completely new riff right at the end of the track. You shake hands and walk off with La Mousse des Femmes.
Life is good. Looking up at the roofline, you Applaudir Les Oiseaux and the backing they give to the chime-laden drum beat that serenades you along the streets. However, one whiff of the uncompromising, rather monotonous next rhythm and you hurry past the hunched figure who offers to show you Sous Les Cotes. Brrr. Salvation awaits as you pop into a cool, calm bar, and listen to Eol et Leo tinkle the ivories, crush some drums and waft soothing strings over the clientele.
How much more of this do you need?
All too soon, the song is over and you must face the sultry streets once more. Ah, Etre Un Papillon, you think, and float away on a jazz piano and drum loop...
There, see, I knew you'd understand. Either we're crazed or we've been listening to Impressions, a five-track sampler EP by ThoTho, available from...
*busts a move*
...Dusted Wax Kingdom netlabel, Bulgarian purveyor of lo-fi, crackly, dusty hiphop to the gentry, and the rest of the world if it asks nicely. ThoTho, a lover of Stravinsky and DJ Krush (that's the kind of talk that CTW likes to hear) comes from Dijon (goodness, the French are so funky nowadays) and has released Impressions in the hope that it will encourage you out there to buy the full album. If you do, you'll find an iTunes link at ThoTho's MySpace. Failing that, send a donation to the very huggable and kissable Dusted Wax Kingdom, where you'll find a few pearls of lo-fi hiphop and triphop.
If you download ThoTho's EP, not only will you have a few head-nodders on your hard drive, you'll also be able to peruse the Lovecraftian album cover in all its sepulchral glory. Why not make a poster out of it and scare yourself silly?
P.S. Marvin of the marvellous Free Albums Galore took my little jest about his site's acronym in good heart. Phew.
By the way, the French weren't always quite so funky...