It's pushing six years since Crewdson (Hugh Jones) released his debut LP to great acclaim (from Gilles Peterson, The Fader and XLR8R among others), and though it might seem as if he's sequestered himself away since, he's actually dipped his hands into dozens of endeavours.
He's produced remixes for Ninja Tune, acted as one half of electro-soul duo Eckoclick, written music for prominent designers and fashion shows, been Thom Yorke's tech support and has, of course, been working on his latest full-length, Toys. The album explores the idea of folk music in electronica (tradition and technology-melding), and while that's hardly a new concept in music, Crewdson's approach is remarkably untraditional.
With his innovative use of personally built, experimental instruments (the Sonic Bonnet, the Odd Box, or the Concertronica, anyone?), Toys has the feel of all things being thrown into a blender and pouring out as a rich colourful amalgamation of sounds. Crewdson plays around here, layering his own off-kilter vocals and slightly out-of-synch harmonies, pulling so much life and sound from his inanimate creations.
This innovative sound design works beautifully on Toys; the simplistic plucks of acoustic guitar and standard backbeat are just as accessible as the rich textures and tumbling beats Crewdson has created here with his novel innovations. (Slowfoot Records)