Thomas William: Deccan Technicolour
This Thing (2011)
Quirky, ‘bedroom’ producers are a dime-a-dozen these days thanks to affordable technology and the World Wide Web. Yet amongst the dross there are plenty of gems and Deccan Technicolour is a shining example.
Thomas William is the monikor of Australian based Tom Smith, who used to go by the name Cleopatrics. Perhaps he’s not quite a bedroom producer, but whatever the case, he has a knack for turning the found sound eclecticism of acts found on Paw Tracks’ roster into head nodding hoe-downs for people who like beats. He plays with schizoid hip hop rhythms that sound like they’re about to collapse in on themselves, but all coloured with washes of synth garble, Middle Eastern collage and retro string arrangements to create something contemplative rather than danceable.
Williams’ dedication to cutting up intricate samples and collating them to capture his own melodies and droopy rhythms borders on the obsessive (check the uber moody By Proxy for example), but that very focus is a blessing to the ears. While Hip Hop is central to Deccan Technicolour, particularly the more experimental styles practiced by the likes of Prefuse 73 (see Acid Overweight), and the quieter moments of Flying Lotus, there’s also evidence of Oneohtrix Point Never’s ambient experiments and the far-out corners of Black Dice.
A lot of hip hop records struggle to keep my interest from start to finish, but there’s plenty of ups, downs and left turns on Deccan Technicolour to keep my attention. Take a listen and start nodding your head.