Artists Genre: Alternative
Following two acclaimed solo EP’s for Lumenessence
Recordings, ‘Blood at Willow Fox Grove’ and ‘Rifles of
the 1900s’, producer, vocalist, multi instrumentalist
and Lumenessence’s premier lo-fi luminary Joe
Shetcliffe unleashes his first full blown long player
and the next installment in the unfolding Sketchie
saga ‘Rain by High Lantern’. Despite his tender twenty
years he has already racked up credits for Warp
Records and for Lex Records as Mummy Fortuna’s Theatre
Co. and with his new LP set Sketchie goes on to
further demonstrate his fiercely independent and
utterly involving trademark sound.
Garnering great reactions from both dance and rock
camps with features in periodicals across the board,
while at the same time drawing spectacular praise from
Radio One’s Zane Lowe and Steve Lamacq, praise for
Sketchie’s creations has indeed been high.
Raised on live performance, the new material bears all
the hallmarks of an evolving Sketchie approach.
Recorded in various houses and unsuitable spaces on
basic recording equipment this music is built on
natural talent and guile. Awash with electronic pops,
clicks and strange mechanical clankings, eerie
atmospherics waft out of the speakers underpinned by
epic overdriven guitar melodies and taut beats.
Effortlessly blending electronics and live playing
this takes the hybrid by the scruff of the neck and
takes it to another level. You’ll find no samples
here – it’s all crafted from Sketchie’s own individual
sound creations - one young man with his instruments,
his voice and the most rudimentary of tools at his
command. Recent commentators have fallen over
themselves with reference points; common denominators
have ranged from The Beta Band, Can, Radiohead,
Phillip Glass, My Bloody Valentine, Sigur Ros and even
a little bit of Aphex Twin or Autechre.
The hand crafted leather artifacts, which make up the
‘Rain’ cover, were inspired by Sketchie’s recent foray
into the world of leather craftsmanship during a stint
with a well-known bespoke shoemaker. The attention to
detail here as with the music itself is palpable;
perhaps this has something to do with his rapidly
growing reputation as an in demand computer game
tester. Sketchie has been testing games for Revolution
Software and his ability has since caught the
attention of technological giants EA Games.
With a singular vocal style made up of controlled
aggression translated into words, high speed
narratives which duck and dive in and out of the mix
Sketchie originally signed to Lumenessence as a
rapper; or more suitably a vocaliser of his own highly
individual chanted rhymes. Articulate, aggressive and
also graceful these rhymes formed the basis of his
early tracks for the label, paving the way towards the
towering epic sound showcased on ‘Rain’. Having
graduated as a teenager on the UK rap scene and
serving his internship with some of the hippest names
from alternative hip hop’s avant garde, Sketchie cut
his teeth supporting the likes of Sage Francis, Sole,
Boom Bip and members of the Lex records fraternity.
Discovered aged 15 by UK hip hop elder statesman Req,
Sketchie rapidly expanded his vocalist role to that of
writer and multi-instrumentalist achieving his now
trademark guitar skills in a self-taught 12 months.
Things have certainly moved on fast; the music that
resulted was highly praised for its emotional depth
and intensity; an old head on young shoulders indeed.
His prodigious output will see him releasing at least
two albums this year. ‘Rain By High Lantern’ is only
the precursor to yet more Sketchie output – a further
installment in our unfolding Sketchie saga. The debut
‘Rain’ plus its sister mini album tentatively entitled
‘Selected Ambivalent Works 2000-2003’ completes the
picture. Largely consisting of vocal tracks, the set
is a snapshot of the frenetic activity which produced
his first two vinyl EP’s and the debut longplayer.
This is music that caresses you with its beauty before
crushing you with its power. This will pull you in and
take you somewhere: -hard to pigeonhole and impossible
to ignore, welcome to Sketchie’s world.
Now performing with a full live band blending live
playing with electronics, watch out for Sketchie live
shows and Lumenessence Live during the summer, where
the band will be performing tracks from the ‘Rain By
High Lantern’ LP.
“Comparisons have already been made to DJ Shadow and
Mogwai, but it’s so much more than that…..Can’t wait
to hear the album.” DMC Update
“He’s making some of the most beautiful music out
“Thanks Sketchie. Nice of you to drop your world into
Top tracks from this artist:
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