Hint

Portakabin Fever

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Leaving a great job, close friends and a smart apartment behind in 2001, Hint's Jonathan James moved to his parent's house in Sussex, England to lock himself away in a portakabin situated at the bottom of their garden to knock out beats on an MPC2000. His first recordings for Leicester's Deep Water caught the ear of wild westerners Hombre, with a collaborative deal between Ninja Tune and the Bristol label affording further exposure. Like fellow Ninja newcomers Pest and Jon Kennedy, Hint fitted into the next generation of downbeat fiddlers in his departure from simple sampling in favour of building hopeful atmospherics from strums of guitar and pianic solemnity. This first album from the beat smith fulfilled all the promise of earlier singles, with intricate melodies prodding at the arrangements displaying an irresistible curiosity -- the Reich-ian loops of "The Look Up" and "Quite Spectacular" offering light to the soliloquy which surrounds fellow crate-digger DJ Shadow, going as far as making a cheeky nod to Endtroducing with "Why the Top Ten Sucks in 2002". It's not all quirky and chirpy beats and pieces however, with the refrain of "Words To That Effect" and sweeping strings of change which envelope the "Re:Percussions" belying a moodier side to Hint which will no doubt be further explored in future fabulous full lengths.

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