Hikko Mori – Self-Portrait

Self Portrait, the latest from Hikko Mori, is a surprisingly eclectic exercise in beat making and sampling the vaguely familiar. Tracks like “Peace is Pessimism” sample Paul McCartney and Eddie Murphy but still manage to create a new experience, despite the audible touchstone. Inversely, “Zilch” feels like the bedrock for a videogame soundtrack that was abandoned for being too dark.

Throughout the course of the record, a myriad of genres and styles are pursued. Interestingly enough, the album actually picks up speed as it rolls along. Instead of top loading the experience with the most upbeat tracks, it’s a slow burn of atmospheric experiences until about the tenth track (“Science & Seagulls“) when the drums start to hit harder and the intensity cranks up a bit. By the time the final track hits, featuring MF Doom from “Figaro”, you’re glued in.

As it’s mostly an instrumental beats record, the tracks are short but that helps the various surprise samples shine a bit more. I’m convinced “Scooby Snax” is sampling this guy and that’s more than enough for me to recommend it to everyone.