Listen to “Haunted House Party” here.
Englands finest modern hip-hop crew are back and with quite a presence. “Haunted House Party” sees the group collaberate with Finish mastermind, J-Boom. The two creative forces comivned to create this musical sensation over the recent lockdown. The Scribes are a multi award winning hip hop three piece whose unique blend of beatboxing, off the cuff freestyling and genre-spanning music unlike any other on the scene today. “Haunted House Party” once again prooves with this group push the limits with the hip-hop effortlessly.
The haunting visual features The Scribes and alter ego Mr Teatime throwing a house party for a selection of stuffed toys that quickly descends into chaos and debauchery. The imagery and theming perfectly encapsulates the feelings of loneliness and isolation brought on by the continuing lockdowns of the last year.
“Haunted House Party” was made by The Scribes in collaboration with Finland based producer J-Boom and is available on international hip hop label The Get Down Records. The tracks and video, all produced throughout lockdown, combine J-Boom’s trademark dusty production with The Scribes’ razor sharp raps and a feature from dark alter ego Mr Teatime. The heavy boom bap beats provide a fitting soundtrack for lyrical musings about loneliness, lockdown and the general chaos that has been 2020.
Producer J-Boom and the groups lyrcisist Shaun Amos futher commented on the creation of the track and how the music complements the evoltuion of the band in a quick fire real talk feature.
S: Shaun Amos (Lyricist) J: J-Boom (Producer)
What inspired this release and made it something that couldn’t be ignored in your artistic atmosphere?
S: “Haunted House Party” was part of a double A-Side vinyl release on The Get Down Records along with “Stir Crazy” and both tracks were hugely inspired by the feelings of hopelessness, loneliness and general despair that we probably all felt at times during the Covid lockdowns. Having to stay indoors, not socialise, not gig, it was all something I was struggling with at the time and so a lot of the lyrics I was writing ended up being about that, sometimes completely unintentionally! When I heard J. Boom’s productions, I knew that it was just meant to be, the mood, the sounds, the dustiness, every bit of it was a perfect fit for how I was feeling. It was a perfect storm, the beats inspired me even further to write about what we were all going through, and the result is something I’m really happy with as an expressive piece of work. It felt good getting a lot of those feelings off my chest and I think the sheer relatability of the subject matter, especially when presented in a hopefully entertaining way, make it a very hard release to ignore!
How was the writing and recording process for this release? Did the pandemic cause any logistical nightmares? If so, how did you overcome it?
J: It was an international collabo for me from the start. Being based in Finland I’m already used to handling stuff through emails and dm’s, bouncing project files back and forth and all that. Technology these days makes it easy as long as everybody involved has access to suitable gear!
S: That’s the crazy thing, without the pandemic these tracks likely wouldn’t exist, not just because of the subject matter, but simply because we may not have found time in our normal schedules to work together. To be honest, as we’re already based in different countries, the logistical problems were not made that different by the pandemic. Like J. Boom said, it just involves a LOT of sending files back and forth!
Why is this release stronger than the rest? What will listeners get this time around that they couldn’t have found before in your music?
J: I personally put a lot of focus on instrumental releases, I only have a couple of collaborative joints with emcees out at the moment, so just for that alone this release stands out from the rest of my catalogue. Beat wise, these beats are some of my personal favourites from the past couple of years. Somber and grimy sounds. And they are definitely tracks that are more geared to being listened with vocals. I remember putting in extra effort to digging before finding the recipe for cooking these.
S: In normal times The Scribes are always gigging, we love performing and it’s a cornerstone of what we do as a group. Being away from the stage for so long really changed how I was looking at writing music, with much less emphasis on how a live crowd would respond, and much more emphasis on creating something that an individual listening in headphones in their room could get into and relate to. I’ve written several narrative projects in past, that’s actually where the Mr Teatime character originates, a 6 track “hip hopera” I released a few years back called “Mr Teatime & The End Of The World”. These projects were much more made for people to listen to rather than dance to, but “Haunted House Party”/”Stir Crazy” is probably the first time I’ve written in this manner about something so universally relatable. I mean nothing like the pandemic has happened to any of us before, it changed everything for a while, including these tunes! I’m not sure I’ll ever write while in the same mood and vibe as I was during the depths of lockdown, so that’s something that’ll always be unique to these tracks. Whether or not that makes them stronger than the rest is up to the listeners really!
What was the goal with the lyrical content on this release?
S: We’ve all been going through a lot during this pandemic, I’m sure it’s been a real rollercoaster for a lot of people, myself included! I just wanted to capture that in some music. The up and down emotions of feeling like it might never end, the occasional joy of successfully entertaining yourself or achieving whatever little things you can under the restrictions in place. There’s also a lot of escapism in the lyrics, a lot of getting away from it all by taking a journey in your own head. Plus in both the video and the track for “Haunted House Party” I really wanted it to be a bit of a call to arms that you can still get creative and find ways to express yourself, even in these strange times.
Did you ever see the band crafting a sound like this? Is this a natural evolution and does it match the vision in your mind?
S: I know it sounds a bit precious, but I definitely do use music to express myself and to help me come to terms with whatever I’m going through at the time. So while I’m not sure I’d have ever written tracks exactly like this without the pandemic, once I was in that headspace it became a sort of necessity. The songs really do sound like what was going on in my head at the time, and I think that’s basically all you can hope for as a writer when your making music. I’d definitely say it’s nailed the what I had in mind when we started working on the project. So I’m not sure it’s a natural evolution, or even an evolution at all, more just a natural continuation of what music is to me personally when set against the backdrop of a global pandemic!
“Haunted House Party” rides the rollercoaster of emotions brought on by the constant uncertainty of 2020. J-Boom provides a bubbling boom bap MPC production that is hauntingly head nodding, packed with strident horns and dusty breaks. This sets the mood perfectly poignant bars regarding the ups and downs of being an artist during the pandemic, and the commitment needed to keep creating during these strange times.
This is a track that captures every emotion that this past year has made prominent and turns it into a positive and energetic experience and truly shows how this awful pandemic will end, with a house party full of energy. The Scribes have once again proved why they are masters of their craft and give hope for listeners at a much needed time and show that even in the toughest times, music will always prevail as a uniting force.
Article by Rob Kent