Blockhead Downtown Science

With his last record being pieced together over a few years it was easy to think that New York’s Blockhead was going to come at us with a different angle for his new release, with results that could have gone either way, but rather than redesign his blueprint of down-tempo beats he’s simply elaborated on it. The same elements that made Music by Cavelight are still present as Blockhead takes old soul and injects it with a dose of electronic hip-hop looping with traces of classic rock. Every track comes off with a beautiful vibe as Downtown Science strings together soft elements such as lush harps and romantic horns and many contain that falsetto vocal sampling that has become Blockhead’s signature, calling up an image of classic black and white musicals. "Cherry Picker” plays with delicate piano keys and a lazy jazz beat and "The First Snowfall” sounds as though a music box is running on its last plucks as it winds itself down — but don’t let these snail-like descriptions put you to sleep. "The Art of Walking” is a straight-up funk jam on the Isaac Hayes tip as a choir preaches over handclaps, slinky bass lines and a catchy little violin hook, injecting a little more pace into the often dozy tracks. Downtown Science is easily as grand as Blockhead’s gorgeous debut, if not better. (Ninja Tune)