Album review: Scalper, Butchers Bakers (+video)

By Scott Kara

1 comment
Album cover for Butchers Baker. Photo / Supplied
Album cover for Butchers Baker. Photo / Supplied

Like the dark soundscapes and loping beats of Scalper's debut album Flesh and Bones from 2010, this follow-up is similarly sinister sounding - only more accomplished and polished.

In a former musical life, Scalper (real name Nadeem Shafi), was the frontman for British hip-hop-meets-world fusion band Fun-da-mental.

The born-and-bred East Londoner of Pakistani descent moved to New Zealand in 2007 and though his work as Scalper is less uppity and frenzied, it is still militant and posturing with sniping lines like "the beast has been dining like this forever" on the restless mantra of Covet.

It's Statues that recalls his old band's agitating musical style, with outbursts of unhinged and penetrating beats. Mostly though, the songs circle like they are about to pounce on some tormented prey. It's intoxicating, almost suffocating stuff.

This album is rooted in hip-hop, of the slower more ominous variety, but adding to its beautifully oppressive nature is the exotic influence of Scalper's Pakistani heritage.

So Carrion is snakey and writhing, and Masterpieces' banging beats are offset by an eerie undercurrent of guitar and sitar.

Though it's unnerving listening, Butchers Bakers is so good, not to mention unique to be coming out of this country, that we should claim him officially as one of our own.

Stars: 4/5
Verdict: Let's claim this guy as our own, quick smart.
Buy this album here.


- NZ Herald

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