Beatmakin Troopa – “Surprise Visit” (2006)

I don’t write about CDs often on Life in the Vinyl Lane because, you know, it’s called Life in the Vinyl Lane and all.  But much as a lot of stuff that only came out on vinyl, so too is it true that a lot of stuff only came out on CD.  And I’m no format snob (♠), and I’ve got plenty of CDs.  Plus when Gestur over at Reykjavik’s Lucky Records sends me something, chances are it’s going to be good.


I’ve written before about encountering Beatmakin Troopa during our first Iceland Airwaves back in ought-nine, so I won’t bore you with rehashing the story here, since it’s probably only interesting to me and Holly.  Though the one odd thing about that night, down in the basement of a club, was that another of the performers went by the questionable name DJ Rabbi Bananas, a nom-d’electronica made even the more uncomfortable by the fake beard and baseball hat with the Star of David he wore.  It was an unusual night, to say the least.

Surprise Visit came out back in 2006, the rare limited-edition CD, hand-numbered in a run of 100 copies.  In true Troopa fashion his influences run deep, though ultimately these electronic tracks have jazz at their core.  Horns and snares, unusual timing… it sort of reminds me of President Bongo’s Serengeti, only nine years earlier, an electronic version of a jazz club field recording, smoky and dark and smelling of old leather but with just a slight hint of electric ozone and flickering neon.

To me Troopa is an acquired taste, one I’ve been fortunate enough to start to acquire over the last year or so.  I only wish I’d gotten there sooner.

(♠)  Though I kind of draw the line at cassettes.  No 8-tracks in my house.  Yet…

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