Primative Pessimist
Scott Matelic

by Greg Locke
Primative Pessimist

Indianapolis hip-hop artist Scott Matelic has been building his standing as one of the undergroundís best producers since before the turn of the century. As a member of both the world renowned 1200 Hobos and the Vinyl Monkeys collectives, Matelic has produced now-classic beats for Sage Francis, Sole, Mars Ill, and Adeem. After years of tangled labor, Matelic has finally released his debut instrumental album, Primitive Pessimist (2.0 for hard-core fans who hunted out the original bootleg version), a 52-minute showpiece of instrumental music aimed to set the standard for his counterparts.

A vinyl junkie in the truest sense, Matelic coils loops, breaks and stray samples from vast, always ambiguous sources. Similar to beat chairman DJ Shadow (although different from the norm), Matelic chops, treats and layers his samples at great length, in turn, making them his own unidentifiable scraps of sound. His often lengthy, building compositions are authentic in structure and ceaselessly assembled with the detail of a creative intellect who never settles for average.

Matelic builds each song around intricate drum patterns, most of which pop with the docile energy of an early 90s DJ Premier beat. Brim full with memorable layers that often mound as high as sky scrapers, Matelic seems a bit ravenous with his samples; Primitive is the kind of album that will have fellow beat junkies searching record shops for the immeasurable number of enviable loops he has unearthed. Although it may be sopping with a million ideas, grooves, and melodies, Primitive prevails, sticking in the listenerís frontal lobe long after playtime is over; and that, regardless of the listenerís personal taste, is the mark of a successful endeavor.

Whether youíre a fan of hip-hop, jazz, rock, classical or otherwise, Primitive PessimistĎs sweeping compositions and dulcet temperament provide a consummate soundtrack to your blue moments. Better than Moby, Prefuse73, Bonoboo, Rjd2, etc., and different enough from DJ Shadow, Boards of Canada, Jel and Tortoise; Primitive is a creative work to be reckoned with. If you only buy one instrumental hip-hop album aside from DJ Shadowís Endtroducting, make it Matelicís engaging Primitive Pessimist.

Oh yeah, one thing about that: the album is currently only available as an expensive Japanese Import. Word is, Primitive Pessimist is likely to see a stateside release before the end of 2005. In the meantime, at Matelicís suggestion, you can contact me at gregwlocke@aol.com for a CDR copy of the album (so as long as you buy it later this year when Strange Famous Records finally puts the pieces together).

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