Nobody's Soulmates (2000)

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I’m digging through endless crates of $1 records. It’s all Humperdinck and Herb, occasional beat copies of Linda Ronstadt. What am I doing this for? I look up, other patrons of the record store are idly flipping through racks of brand new records, ready to spend $35 on a repress of Electric Ladyland.  And I’m here, half-hobo cockroach, exercising my fingertips on the heat wheel of the dream, the dusty masterpiece resting just behind that Lawrence Welk boxset.

Such was the scene when I rescued Nobody’s Soulmates. It’s 2LPs of samples, soundscapes, appearances by underground Los Angelino MCs, and the laidbackest grooves cut to wax. Wait, was that the opening piano tinkling from Talk Talk’s “Happiness is Easy?” Oh shit, that’s crazy, such supine posturing. Now someone is freestyling over a sitar and reverse tape effects. Is there such a thing as vintage digital yet?

Such is the beauty of samples, and for the growing initiate in this genre (me, maybe you) the patchwork intentionality is a welcome break from all these goddamn well-thought-out songs people are always playing at me. This lives between Ravi Shankar and the Beta Band, a John Fahey/Brian Eno collaboration, hip-hop for acid heads with preschoolers who only smoke CBD and drink IPAs. Part of the appeal is that it’s not really an album, expertly amateurish, unfinished, waiting for future collaboration, a mixtape masquerading as a record.

This didn’t belong in the dollar bin, and now it’s mine. Such is the dream.  

— Ghil Scraw

Phil Shaw