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Clutchy Hopkins

Walking Backwards

(Ubiquity; US: 5 Feb 2008; UK: 24 Mar 2008)

Clutchy Hopkins is a weird one. No one knows who or what it is, and this is already whoever-it-is’ second official album. Now, anonymity may be something of a standard marketing ploy, one that usually fades away quickly and forgotten (like the initial identity confusion behind the first Gorillaz and Prozzäk albums), but it’s actually kinda painful here. You see, Clutchy makes about the sickest jazzy funk, live hip-hop fusion this side of Galactic’s From the Corner to the Block. The more you hear, the more the question of who brought it to you burns in your mind. Who is Keyser Söze?


Walking Backwards is the sound of Miles Davis (late ‘60s) and Fink jamming with ?uestlove (The Roots), and that is not a generous comparison. While moments here and there on the debut arguably hinted at a possible bedroom producer amongst the warm bass, electric piano, booty guitar, and lounge drumming, this album is practically flawless and genre-less. Style wise, only the Darondo assisted “Love Of A Woman” features any words and, though they express the aching soul of the search for and the inspiring presence of women, those vocals are not in rap form. Clutchy Hopkins is its own brand. Better buy in now while the price is low.

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Compelled to words by music since 2004, Ranta's words have appeared in such esteemed publications as Exclaim!, Tiny Mix Tapes, CBC Music, and PopMatters. He also regularly votes for the Polaris Music Prize, Village Voice Pazz & Jop, Juno Awards, and in all local, provincial, and federal elections. Based in East Vancouver, he's been known to a rave and/or rant, cat whisper, play basketball, pessimistically root for the Canucks, and read far too many comment sections. He graduated with distinction from SFU in 2012, with a bachelor's degree in music.


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11 May 2010
Clutchy Hopkins' multicultural downtempo is as routine as ever, but the glimpses of true quality hint at something he's been hiding better than his identity: an unusual talent for songwriting.
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