When I was a lot younger I was convinced that the best track on an album would be its last one. When the album was king, the band/artist/whatever would make some attempt at sequencing their work, which usually involved placing their epic/wigout/experimental track last. This led to the situation where I’d just skip to the end to check for a 8 minute krautrock opus snuck onto a Brit Pop record. It was semi successful.
Now I’m a lot older and the album as a concept is fading and an obsession with endings is starting to feel like tempting fate. And while Hip-hop continues to delight in structures and form (and mixtapes!), tracks which are always going to get skipped on Spotify seem like some aristocratic indulgence.
Which is why today I’m going back to 2015 to bring you the first track from an album. And it’s called ‘Introduction’. Absolutely zero messing there.
Unlike the rest of Samo Sound Boy’s Begging Please — the album it opens — Introduction seems completely removed from the club. There’s a moment in Lost Highway when Bill Paxton rings his own home from a Hollywood party and speaks to himself. The rest of the album’s the Hollywood party and this track’s standing on the roof of a convenience store out in the middle of a purple hued desert asking ‘who’s this?’ And it’s glorious.
It also mainlines two minor movements in dance music circa 2015: an embrace of New Age and the pure emotion of Japanese soundtracks (Videogame / Anime / anything Joe Hisaishi). Simple delicate melodies over sustained synth chords. A woozy nighttime haze (that possessed and consumed Vapour Wave). We’ve written in the past of the horror at the heart of New Age, its own eventual disillusionment contained in the utopia it yearns for, and it’s wonderfully in affect here. Those organ chords, a religious summoning that will go unheard.
It’s not completely divorced from its fellow album tracks. Towards the end what sounds from a distance like 2-step arrives to provide the perfect mix point. A point the next track on the album wonderfully doesn’t pick up and run with. So we’re left with a build that just evaporates into the perfectly conjured, grainy night of the rest of the track.
Introduction is taken from Samo Sound Boy’s Begging Please which is really good. It’s out on Body High (a label he co-owns) and you can grab copies on vinyl off Discogs or stream it from wherever.