Relative newcomer, Paul White's début album The Strange Dreams of... follows on from a series of singles and an EP from the past year and manages to capture the brilliance of both Jay Dee / J Dilla and DJ Shadow at his most hip-hop influenced, all in one. The result - a cinematic, curious combination of film samples and epic joints is lush.
Stitched together to make up the album are 21 different cuts - all are instrumentals aside from the samples - with White's apparent short attention span resulting in an album structure reminiscent of Dilla's own classic Donuts. The short-form structure suits White's sense of joyful experimentation to a tee and the cut and shut creativity and variety that ensues ensures that the listener gets more than their money's worth.
How else could an album contain the throbbing and paranoid bass-heavy 'Time Wars' and slam it straight into the glorious summertime soul of 'City Bright Lights'? Or feature something as willfully funky as 'The Composer's Soundtrack' and as barking mad as 'Alien Nature' without it just coming off annoying.
What makes The Strange Dreams of... work however is the quality of the production work. Some of the tracks here easily live up to the work of world famous producers and yet Paul White is no household name. Yet. The soaring melodies of 'Burnt By The Sun' could be formulaic but the way they have been cut together with quiet vocals snatches and loose, loose drumming ensures they transcend the work of many better known beat makers.
Album closer 'Can't Sleep Make Music' conveys what it must be like in Paul White's head. BlackPlastic can almost picture him, head so stuffed with good ideas that he can't stop creating.
The Strange Dreams of... then: another self-made record so bloody good it begs the question what the hell the major record labels spend all their time and money on.
The Strange Dreams of... Paul White is available to stream in full or purchase now from Bandcamp.