Saturday, November 1, 2008

Where Is Clutchy?

All info provided on Clutchy Hopkins comes from Ubiquity Records:


"What we do know about him, and it's the most important thing, is that this music is F-U-N-K-Y...The rawest, grittiest, skin-slapping this side of The Meters..."
- Okayplayer

"If I were an emcee, I would want Clutchy on my squad. Much like MF Doom he has the unique ability to make the inanimate articulate, as if his instruments could speak. Not only is Clutchy 'next up', but he's also on some next shit."
- Thick Magaine

"There's a spare, spacious approach here that almost reminds us of the energy that we first felt in DJ Shadow's groundbreaking work of a decade before -- a similar love of gritty, organic source material -- and an ear for putting it together with lots of dark twists and turns that balance nicely between classic funk and current hip hop production sensibilities. The flavor of each tune changes nicely -- making the album way more than just a clich├ęd collection of beats..."
- Dustygroove

"Walking Backwards' dense, drifting instrumentals were built on dry snare thwacks, woodwinds and gloomy, dim-lounge organs...Hopkins is a creepy one. Whoever he is."
- Remix

"The disc is chock full of slick jazz/funk fusion hip-hop beats that plays out like a soundtrack to the life of the Clutchster himself...Walking Backwards is nice change of pace from the norm as far as instrumental discs goes, with many using more samples and synthesizers than actual live instrumentation, with Hopkins apparently manning nearly all of the instrumentation. As a result, Clutchy proves that he's hipper than your average bum off the street, and he can play a mean flute...and drums, and organ, and harp..."

Check out the newest album from Clutchy Hopkins to further explore the mysterious world of Clutchy:

Shawn Lee and Clutchy Hopkins - Clutch of The Tiger


01. Full Moon
02. Two Steps Back
03. Things Change
04. Bill Blows It
05. So Easily, So Naturally
06. Leon Me
07. Dollar Short
08. When I Was Young
09. Across The Pond
10. Bad Infulence
11. Till Next Time
12. Indian Burn

Clutch of the Tiger sounds like a collection of film-noir tracks run through the Clutchy Hopkins and Shawn Lee magical music machine. It’s dusty and mysterious junkyard jazz that’s powered by sly beats and other-worldly funk. Famous comic book creator Jim Mahood (who has worked on Spiderman/Marvel, Clerks, Grrl Scouts, Stupid Comics, etc etc) liked the tunes so much he provided the killer artwork for the package! FYI - Inside the album is a hidden code that gives customers a deal on limited edition prints of the Mahfood artwork, available exclusively from the Ubiquity website.

But how did this record come to be? Does Shawn Lee know the identity of the mysterious Mr Hopkins? Read on brothers and sisters ...

A few years back our man Shawn Lee flew from London to Phoenix, AZ, to visit his Mom for Christmas. While out there, the opportunity arose for a last minute recording session in Los Angeles. Renting a car he decided to make the drive by way of the Mojave Desert. Passing though the Desert he was low on gas, and so pulled over to fill up. He could not resist dropping into the thrift store next door. "I love second hand and vintage stuff, I had to go in see if I could find some cool clothes, or a little funky instrument," he explains.

After a quick scour of the merchandise Lee headed back out towards the door only to be met by a bushy-haired man carrying a tiger mask. They exchanged greetings, shared stories about vintage instruments, and then Lee asked about the mask. "He said it was a gift, from a group of gypsies who make costumes for performing art centers in the Los Angeles area.” The man said he'd made the gypsies some instruments and that they gave him the mask in return. Lee immediately fell in love with the mask. This became obvious to the man who gave it to Lee with two requests. Lee was to keep the mask forever, and to wear it every full moon. He agreed and headed out West to Los Angeles.

Back in London, at the onset of the first full moon, Lee donned the mask and felt a lump pushing into the side of his head. He pulled back a cloth on the inside of the mask and found a cassette marked "C. H." on Side A, and "Full Moon Breaks, Vol. 1" on the other.

Excitedly Lee put the cassette into a tape deck and pressed play. "I put the mask back on and, I’m not really a dancer or anything, but my feet were all over the place, this seriously moved me...the music was dope.” Fast forward year or so and Lee hears about Ubiquity releasing music from a mysterious, but talented, artist out of the Mojave Desert called Clutchy Hopkins. Putting “C.H.” and “Clutchy Hopkins” together he pulled out the cassette and knocked out a few ideas inspired by what he heard. The ideas were delivered to the Misled Children, the somewhat secretive agents of Mr. Hopkins that had befriended Ubiquity (coincidentally by way of a chance purchase at a thrift store.) Two weeks later a purple CD-r was mailed to Lee’s house back in London and it included the tracks he started, with new music added to them, and also some other ideas meant for Shawn to play with. There was also a message, in Native American, which Lee was able to transcribe. It was a request from Clutchy Hopkins to send more music. This exchange of ideas, by way of the mail and the Misled Children, went on for 3 months. Then everything went quiet. We could not find the Misled Children, no more packages arrived, and no more messages were received.

A month or so later Lee picked up the mask to honor his full moon request, and once again was surprised by a bump to his head. Inside the cloth lining was a CD. He swears he has no idea of how it got there. You're now holding in your hands the recording found on that CD. It’s the result of long distance collaboration between two talented musicians. They met only briefly, but instantly saw eye to eye by way of a mask and a full moon. Behold, the Clutch of The Tiger …

Check out Percy on the One from the album Walking Backwards

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