When the mysterious masked man they call Doom describes a producer as “the illest to grace the boards”, you know that something a little special is going on. The recipient of that prestigious big-upping is a feller from Cheshire, Northern England who goes by the name Mr Chops (or Coz Littler), and shouldn’t be confused with his trans-Atlantic Mr-less counterpart. Already boasting some impressive work for Now Again and Jazzman, he has turned his steely gaze to the works of Pete Rock for his latest project, hauling in the likes of Heliocentric’s Malcolm Catto, Jake
Ferguson and Mike Burnham to augment his multi-instrumentalist tendencies.The result is a psych-soaked, funk-filled, epic instrumental album, that mines the musicality in the great New York producer’s work in a way that constantly surprises and elevates.
Refreshingly, Chops acknowledges that these classic tunes are built into the DNA of every self-respecting hip hop appreciator, allowing himself the license to leave Tom Scott’s iconic sax line out of TROY till past the three-minute mark, or slowing down Rock’s seminal, Shut ’Em Down, Public Enemy remix to a superbly sludgey headnodders holiday. Taking it a little further than similar projects like the El Michels Affair/Wu Tang project, For Pete’s Sake has the freshest delayed out drums you’re going to hear in a good while, backed up by inspired musical gestures and peerless production.