Scroobius Pip is an artist who’s lyrical elegance and intelligence draws you to listen carefully. His intensity and topic sensitivity is what holds your attention unfalteringly. Dan Le Sac is a producer and DJ who exaggerates the lyrical intensity with beats that don’t just accompany Pip’s words but submerges them in emotion.
Repent Replenish Repeat is the latest album by this unique somewhat un-categorizable duo. This album has been much anticipated by the big, ever growing fan base that follows the band. The witty way Pip spits meaningful messages has gained him many loyal followers. This album comes two years after the spoken word artist’s second solo album Distraction Pieces which climbed as high as eighth on the ITunes chart. Distraction Pieces had more of a rock based soundtrack and a faster tempo then the previous two Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip albums. This gave Pip a different dimension but less focus, the songs were wilder, some tracks sound like a call to arms then a well worded thought or message. With Repent Replenish Repeat, Dan Le Sac keeps that tempo and intensity from Distraction Pieces while framing the lyrics in emotion. Coast Sound asked Dan if the music or the lyrics are produced first:
“It can go either way, the first few tracks usually come along music first but as an album develops that can flip. We started this album with a huge amount of music, I had worked up a lot of the initial ideas during writing Space Between the Words, so as Pip started whittling the ideas down a pattern started to appear that we could both follow and bounce around”.
Pip said that his favourite tracks were made from putting lyrics to Dan’s music:
“I really enjoyed writing to the music Dan created for Terminal and You Will See Me. I loved all of his work on this album but they were a particularly fun experience as they were largely beatless. Just beautifully crafted soundscapes that I had to figure out how to weave words into”.
This intensity is the thing that separates this album from previous le Sac – Pip projects. There are no light hearted tracks to escape the dark themes that flow throughout the album. The duo’s second release The Logic Of Chance had tracks Cauliflower, Last Train Home and The Beat. First album Angles had the songs Thou Shalt Always Kill and Fixed. Repent Replenish Repeat lacks these breaks in what are full on, heavy records. The effect this has is the album seems much more serious, it’s a lot to take in and there is no escaping it. However when Coast Sound posed this to Pip he disagreed, despite acknowledging people have felt this uninterrupted darkness:
“A lot of people have said this! And I tend to then point out that the first album included tracks about self harm, suicide and revenge murder. And the second covered subjects including domestic violence and the crumbling of society! So, no, there wasn’t a clear intent here! Haha. As far as I knew I was just continuing down the path I had been treading for some time”.
RRR still has the chemistry to draw fans back from the band’s past adventures. Opening track and first single Stunner bangs the drum and says we are here, the same way The Beat That My Heart Skipped did in Angles. Dan said that he is very proud of the album’s opening track:
“Stunner is always going to be a favourite, I’m proud of how close it is to the idea I had in my head”.
Scroobius Pip’s lyrics stretch from questioning the state of modern rap music to daughters in mental hospitals. Coast Sound asked Pip if he ever wrote lyrics that he thought were too controversial to release:
“Not really. I mean, there were a few on this album that I was worried would be misinterpreted simply because people may assume they know who or what they are referring to…but that’s something you just have to accept as a writer. If you are releasing…and indeed SELLING your work to people then they have bought the right to interpret it as they see fit. So I try to just let that go. I don’t always succeed in doing so…but I try my best!”.
The lyrical content of the album peaks on the track Terminal, which tells you the tale of a terminally ill woman spending her last night on a drug fuelled high with a man she had only met that morning. Scroobius Pip tells that story in first person through that man’s eyes. “I’d met her that morning in the waiting room at 7AM, and 16 beautiful hours later, I’d never see her again.” This epitomizes just how intense this album is, an intensity which accumulates in the last track You Will See me. You Will See Me shouts an anger we have all felt, an anger which leaves us speechless but what Pip has moulded into destructive words. This is a very powerful track and Coast Sound asked Pip why he chose to end on this aggressive note:
“What could follow it?! That was genuinely the reason. And I don’t mean that in a “it’s so awesome” way. Just literally, it builds up such raw tension and power that it felt any song that came after it we would have to concede that no one would pay attention to the first 30 seconds or so, as they would still be recovering”.
Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip have been on their own pedestal in British music since their first album Angles in 2008. Since then they have just grown in popularity and they are only going to get bigger. The band is unique and exciting but most importantly, they are good for music. Make sure you’re in a secure, safe place. Isolate yourself and move away from any distractions. Get comfy, brace and listen to Repent Replenish Repeat.