The Clifford Gilberto Rhythm Combination

I Was Young And I Needed The Money

Squarepusher recently announced a new upcoming album, titled Just A Souvenir (out on Warp on October 27th, of 2008 – and already available via digital download on bleep). But on my first preview of the album, Tom Jenkinson seems to drift even further away from his original innovative broken beats and drill’n’bass, so dominated by the late 90s. Personally, I always applaud the efforts of an evolving artist, and Squarepusher deserves a whole separate hailing review (coming up next). But being nostalgic for that jazzy breaky genre, I dust off a copy of an overlooked album by Florian Schmitt, which cries out to be back in my rotations.

Schmitt recorded only a single album for Ninja Tune back in 1998 under the lengthy pseudonym, The Clifford Gilberto Rhythm Combination. He also did a bunch of remixes later under Clifford Gilberto and his real name. But that was a decade ago, and since then, he’s been pretty quiet. Nevertheless, the sound of his debut album, I Was Young And I Needed The Money, is fresh and upbeat, after all these years. I did not begin this write up with Jenkinson incidentally, though.

Fans of Squarepusher, Amon Tobin, Cinematic Orchestra, ยต-Ziq, and The Flashbulb will be absolutely delighted to hear the Schmitt’s tracks for the first time, if they somehow missed the album when it first hit the streets. The sound fluctuates between melodic drum’n’bass (closer to a drilling jungle though, then a straight beat) and a jazzy trip-hoppy rhythms with Latin-flavored samples. The Gilberto reference in Schmitt’s alias reveals his Brazilian jazz influence… maybe… His biography on Ninja Tune’s site claims that he’s “the unknown lovechild of Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz“, but Schmitt brings to the table much more than the musical genius of aforementioned influential bossa nova artists. Guaranteed to liven up your mood and get you to bop your head. And seriously, if you haven’t heard this one, get it! Too many favorite tracks on that one to list.