Hello Skinny is the solo project of UK drummer and serial collaborator Tom Skinner. Working with the likes of Dave Okumu (The Invisible), Eska, scene-leading saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings in Sons of Kemet and not to mention his exploits with Owiny Sigoma band; Skinner has no doubt a feel for the similarities and diversity between a plethora of musical genres flowing through his fingertips. Now releasing his second album Watermelon Sun, this work comes heavily influenced by featured influential trombone player and composer Peter Zummo (friend and collaborator of Arthur Russell); to be released on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings.
‘Bluebells’ is a composition of space and texture, with the originality and familiarity that is found in abundance within Watermelon Sun. Skinner opens with effected recordings ping-ponging between the space left by an equally effected repeating melody played on and electric bass high end. A little like the initial feeling of unfamiliarity when waking up in a foreign place, there is an air of mystery felt as the repeated phrase melts into the background; whilst Zummo’s bold sliding trombone notes, given lots of reverb and delay, fold into the mixture. It is relieved however with the introduction of a steady walking pace kick followed by a warm round bass line. Building into a radiant carpet of blended sonics with additional elements coming from synth and saxophone, it’s hard to completely pin down a particular influence that Bluebells can attribute, but therein lies it’s beauty.
Watermelon Sun is released 24th November. Pre order on Hello Skinny’s Bandcamp now.