Blockhead, Interludes After Midnight
Heavy with a strange end-of-childhood feeling
As whimsical and childlike as Ninja Tune mainstay Blockhead’s music can be, there’s no denying just how heavy every hook sounds, as if the weight of the world’s been placed on the producer’s shoulders. You can chalk some of that pathos up to the bittersweet samples that pepper tracks like “Tools of the Industry” and “Snapping Point” — subtly sinister nursery rhymes and grade-school loops that are layered over melancholic, grown-up melodies. The tracks bump with bewildered funk, dredged-up bits of guitar, static-soaked synths and speaker-slapping drums that pop up where you least expect. The music doesn’t explicitly look toward earlier eras, but it still carries an aura of rifling through Goodwill shelves in an attempt to find some remnants of upbeat youth in the debris. And like an ’80s kid’s first experience with scrambled Skinemax, it’s heavy with that strange end-of-childhood feel of figuring out just how big and weird the outside world is, and trying to tie it all together.