obO - Fut!

Jazzy beat-tape sketches

by DJML
  • Label: Tush
  • Catalog Number: THCD01
  • Year: 1996

obO is the solo alias of one Alan Riding, member of Warp-signed retro-futurists Red Snapper. In 1996, the year of the band's first album, Riding published a flurry of homemade recordings on his own label, Tush, then promptly disappeared. 

Fut! is a compilation CD of these solo excursions (somehow also from 1996!) echoing Red Snapper's eclectic groove-building, but with a more DIY approach. The album is essentially a beat tape, each track hinging on a jazzy loop or two, augmented with punchy drum boxes and Riding's own instrumental flourishes via sax, flute, and clarinet. 

Overall, the vibe is classic '90s downtempo: haunting pads, slo-mo breaks, and filter sweeps, but there's plenty of room for experimentation. Some tracks go fully down the future jazz hole, with virtuoso slap bass and Herbie Mann-lineage flute tootlin'. Others approach the screw tape singularity with blasted drum breaks and two-note synth lines. The kind of deep bedroom beat science that should appeal to fans of REQ or PG Sounds. 

Despite the freewheeling nature of just about every track, the album really shines in its more precise moments. On tracks like "1/4 Gram Man" and "Tempt-Eye'd", Riding combines the mysterious sample bank with syncopated subs and menacing synths lifted straight from Detroit techno. The end result recalls the grooving-yet-punishing work of Urban Tribe or Push Button Objects. 

Totally off the map in terms of digital publishing, but cheap and plentiful on Discogs. Otherwise, grip the whole rip here.


Tracklist

  1. 1. Slide Burn I + II - 8:10
  2. 2. 1/4 Gram Man - 3:43
  3. 3. Piked - 5:02
  4. 4. Honeytrap / Slide Burn 3 - 6:19
  5. 5. Curl (Unfinished Demo) - 3:53
  6. 6. Forelash (Beated) - 3:55
  7. 7. Far Canal - 4:34
  8. 8. T's Checkout - 5:42
  9. 9. Diamond Loser - 6:12
  10. 10. Major Keyhole - 2:12
  11. 11. Skinwalker - 4:02
  12. 12. Slide Burn 5 - 4:26
  13. 13. Q - 3:22
  14. 14. Peep It - 3:53
  15. 15. Tempt-eye'd - 6:14