A long time coming, Platypus Philosophy could be the final solo release from Scrub Club Records.
A core member of international nerdcore collective Torrentz – who are currently working on their next release – rapper Fatback Supreme has dropped his long awaited solo album titled Platypus Philosophy. The release forms what must surely be one of the last from the long established ‘not for profit’ internet label Scrub Club Records which is due to close up shop this month.
A modest nine tracks long delivering around a half hour of music Platypus Philosophy sets off on a sure footing with Brighter Day a straight up hip-hop track relying on a kick/snare beat layered with a simple guitar sample and vocal hits. Fatback delivers strong vocals and honest lyrics laying out a message of intent. Honesty shines through in the biographical second track My Story, featuring vocals from Beefy and taking an 8-Bit direction.
Ballad Of The Hipster is a lyrically observational piece tinged with humour over an upbeat track somewhat contrasting in style with I Don’t Get It, a harder, synth-heavy song featuring vocals by fellow Torrentz rapper XoC who, sadly, sounds like he phoned it in – I mean literally on the phone, the stark difference in sound quality is immediately noticeable, and I mean that as no detrimental reflection of his vocal style by any means, I’m a big fans of Xo’s unique delivery and flow.
At the midway point Nonesense moves us in a different musical direction again with a track led by a prominent bassline whilst Fatback’s vocals take on an unfamiliar dynamic too. Looser than we’re used to and with what one can only assume is a deliberate hint of distortion (given the crisp vocal production elsewhere in the album) resulting in a vaguely fuzzy result. The Real Me is another self referential track that finds Fatback speeding up his delivery that makes, what would otherwise be a musically unremarkable track, worthy of a listen. No Regrets makes for a far more dynamic composition with intricate strings that change direction throughout. The moral of the story held within the lyrics equates to ‘keep it real‘.
A similar message comes across in Everyday which yet again mixes up the musical style of the album, but nowhere as much as final track Forward which delivers a low-key soundscape of intricate sounds and layers that, combined with easy flowing vocals from both Fatback Supreme and guest vocalist Navi, forms what could be an exceptional stand-out track, but suffers – at least to my ears – from a deep bass that distorts so severely as to impede the enjoyment of listening to it. A real shame.
If I summised that this album was put together over an extended period of time I don’t think I’d be far off the mark, and if this hypothesis is proven true it would certainly explain, in part, the disjointed feel of the release. The album doesn’t flow at all easily. Each track sounds different to the next due, in no small amount, to the fact that at least four different producers are credited on individual tracks with presumably the rest being created by Fatback Supreme himself. It’s too confused, and the only thing really forming the glue that binds these nine tracks together is the sentiment behind the lyrics. It’s a good message: keep it real, stay strong, stay true and keep on keeping on.
Despite its misgivings there is plenty to enjoy in Platypus Philosophy. Where it falls down is in its presentation as a body of work. Take any one of the nine tracks and you’ll find at worst a good track. Put together? You’ll be listening to a mixtape masquerading as an album. There is a difference and this isn’t finished enough to qualify as the latter in my opinion.
Download Platypus Philosophy for free via Scrub Club Records now.