John-Paul Shiver

John-Paul Shiver

SF Music Journalist who writes for @pulplab @sfsonicmag , likes more songs about buildings and food. He's written for several Bay Area Music publications over the past 15 years.

Future Classics

Eureka The Butcher “¡EUREKA!” (Alpha Pup Records)

Beats

Just from the oblique randomness of tones and textures found in the opening track “The Slow Rise”, it becomes clear early on that ¡EUREKA! carries the auditory weight of challenging times directly in its DNA.

It has an ever evolving, at some times chaotic energy. You hear Dude going through it. Eureka The Butcher is upfront about the situations that this release came from. “I wrote a lot of this album at a very dark time in my life. I’d lost some very important people in my life and I was at my most insecure, personally and musically speaking.”

Still… he maneuvers with fluid precision through the cinematic trap back streets of hip-hop. Onto modular synth laden funk constructs and right into the soulful and polyrhythmic confines of his own take on West London broken beat by way of LA’s Beatscene. And it is upon arrival on those magical “keys” that we are able to fully lock-on to this challenging and imaginative release.

Marcel Rodriguez-Lopez is Eureka the Butcher. The multi-instrumentalist and producer best known as the keyboardist and percussionist of The Mars Volta and the drummer, producer & engineer for Zechs Marquise. He has stated that his approach was the same for every song here: make it from scratch and play it live. “There are no samples or presets on this album. There are no soft synths. 80% of the sounds were made on a modular synthesizer, so those sounds started out as single waveforms that were shaped and manipulated into more complex tones. The percussion sounds are all played live either with real drums, synthesized drums, or a mixture of the two. Any programming done was on analog sequencers so I could introduce a live performance element in that area as well.”

Without his knowledge and touch on salsa, psychedelic rock, progressive rock, and fusion…all types of music he credits as strong influences that taught him how to play….this record might have gotten lost in the vast soundscapes he created. But it’s the veteran keyboard work of Marcel Rodriguez-Lopez that not only rescues these different shadings, but grounds the entire record with a jazz-fusion type chord coloring amid the “kick-drum” sound scape and helicopter drones buzzing overhead. You can’t help but bounce your head to the psychedelic funk of “Super Movements”, or the sidewinder grind of “Run Off On Me”. Take a rough ride through the combative trap confines of “The Formula” or the ghetto red-hot temperature of “Rap Songs”, that features the clever “sentences be more like death sentences” bars by Sahtyre.

But these boisterous figures are just junk yard dogs defending the albums heart and soul. “Falling Short” features salsa and Caribbean rhythms meeting future soul. “I Want That” is the vibey space contemplation that employs all the warm colours found on that modular synthesizer. “Know Time for Anything” and “El Maestro”, two very skillful punch ups of what broken beat has morphed into, maintains the polymorphous album sentiment while remaining compelling.

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