Malcom Kipe — Lit

Malcom Kipe -- Lit cover I already wrote about this album on my journal a while back, but I’m really getting into this album at the moment, so I thought I’d write a post about it here as well.

Do you, like me, get it when an album really reminds you of the summer just because of the time of year you bought it? ‘One Word Extinguisher‘ by Prefuse 73 is a very summery album to me, as is OutKast’s ‘Speakerboxxx / The Love Below‘. Even Tortoise’s ‘TNT‘ reminds me of summer, and the music isn’t particularly summery at all.

But some music is perfectly suited to a long summery evening, the sort warm evening where the sun is a deep orange and casts a long shadow, yet never threatens to set. Just right for this time of year then! Lit by Malcom Kipe is one of those summery albums, so it’s a shame it wasn’t released at this time of year.

Although I fear it may be too late for anybody who may be swung by this post to find any copies that still haven’t been sold, I am really enjoying this album at the moment, and it also gives me the perfect excuse to write about the Merck label.

Malcom Kipe is perhaps better known as Nautilis. His mum calls him Skyler McGlothlin. Frankly I’m not surprised that he resorts to using pseudonyms. Anyway, on his website he put up a ‘Locked in the cabin’ mix, which is along the same lines as Lit. He advised, “This mix is a good summer jam, so download it and play it in the ride – on the way to the bbq.”

Lit is chilled out, gently jazzy instrumental hip-hop with a slightly nostalgic tilt. There is nothing terribly groundbreaking or unusual about the album. It is an album of rather enjoyable, relaxed music that won’t tax your brain too much, but might well still get you tapping your foot. I agree with the review that Boomkat gave it: “As long as you’re not heading into ‘Lit’ expecting any blinding bouts of sonic innovation, then you’ll likely be cosily seduced…”

I had only bought one McGlothlin release before — ‘Are You An Axolotl‘ by Nautilis. Even though I really liked Axolotl, I never bought another of his releases until now. I need to catch up some more.

Lit is released on the rather good Merck label. When I was first getting heavily into IDM and that sort of thing about five years ago, I bought a good few Merck releases. The first was the cutesy ‘Pistachio Island‘ by Ilkae, an album of forty-odd short tracks designed to be played in ‘shuffle’ mode. Then there was the dark and crunchy ‘Negativ‘ by Proem. I also bought MD’s ‘Between Gaps‘. Later on I bought the excellent ‘Now You Know‘ by Machine Drum. That is numbers 5, 6, 7 and 8 in Merck’s catalogue — and I’ve bought nothing from that label since then. I can hardly believe it! What have I been doing for the past few years?

Well I guess I’d better hurry up and get round to buying whatever I want from their discography, because they’ve decided to call it a day towards the end of this year. Whatever the reasons, it is a shame. It’s never nice to hear rumours of a small record label closing, especially when it is as good as Merck.

Sometimes in the electronic music bubble it’s difficult to remember just how small demand for the music is. With a lot of these labels, releases are limited to maybe 1000, 2000 or 5000. Often that’s not because they want to keep their records rare — it’s because it’s what meets the market demand. Indeed, the Wikipedia article on Merck suggests that the label’s closure is due to financial constraints. But while labels may close, at least great music is never too far away.

That promised Brothomstates release for Merck never came! I heard that he prefers to enjoy life rather than making music though. Fair enough.

It is probably a bit much dedicating an entire post to ‘Lit’. It is not a great album. It is good and pleasent, but not really great. But I anticipate that I’ll be listening to it a fair bit over the summer. Unchallenging, unpretentious, enjoyable music.

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