June 21st, 2012 | Album reviews

Interludes After Midnight
Ninja Tune

Highly enjoyable, lively but mellow, this collection of sample-heavy jams throws so many analog delights at you that listening makes you feel like you’re stoned on happy weed, even if, like me, you never smoke the stuff. Blockhead (AKA Tony Simon) is back, and he knows how to make magic out of deep-discount bin records, including old fitness LPs, which he sprinkles liberally with background robo synths and an assortment of the strangest almost-familiar delights. Not since the heyday of DJs like Acen and Qbert have I had so much fun. This album is one of those most rare gems, an album that follows through on the promise of hip hop and breakbeat that rarely gets fulfilled: full sample immersion that leaves its sources big and bold yet fully, delightfully rearranged, a true collage braided together lovingly with original combinations of boxy beats and tinkling treble tones. It reminds me of the Stones Throw crew, but somehow more … adult—what it perhaps misses in chunky Duplo glee it makes up for in seamless classiness. If Peanut Butter Wolf ever makes an album in 2028 to play for his wife while he gives her a tender massage as a reward for taking care of the kids all day, it’ll sound like this.

-D. M. Collins