Green Smoke / Thunder Perfect
The Cromagnon Band describe their approach to music as reverse engineering. Having earned their chops from years producing beats they switched directions and swapped MPCs for instruments. They began dismantling hip hop to examine what makes it tick and recreating what they found. But what they make isn't simply instrumental hip hop. Rather, it's the sound that haunts the dreams of beat diggers and obsessive record collectors alike. Indeed, they've already featured on compilations from Andy Votel and Doug Shipton's Finder Keepers label and been sampled by The Go! Team, without having yet released a record.
Their sound is a natural fusion of the trio's musical strengths. Len's credentials include producing for the likes of Jehst, Micall Parknsun and Kashmere, under the alias LG, and collaborating with flautist Ross Harris as LG And Biscuit. In addition to his own beat making, Tom plays drums in psych rockers Wolf People. With two hip hop heads on bass and drums, the third piece of the puzzle is Bert. After a classical training and then earning a living as a church organist and orchestral clarinettist, Bert has the ability to turn his hand to pretty much any instrument that's placed in front of him. And in Cromagnon he does exactly that. Put the three of them in a studio and the music flows.
Stripped of all this context it's hard to tell whether The Cromagnon Band recorded these two tracks last week or last millenium. It's as easy to believe they could have been sample fodder for the golden age as it is to understand that they were inspired by it. Not dated, but timeless.