A picture of somewhere in Western Australia graces the front cover. Mr. Turner must really think highly of us down here, especially given some good reviews of his performance at Vibes last year. Either that or he must think WA is a really chilled out place and to have it on the front cover is perfect for a chillout album. Aim seems to pick some really obscure sample/beat for the intro tracks to his album and Hinterland’s Intro is no different. Syncopated piano playing all alone, then the drum beat kicks in showing no sign of being any less syncopated – great, concentration is all lost when trying to achieve the right mood for listening to this album.
Kate Rogers makes another guest appearance on The Girl Who Fell Through The Ice. What better way to start the album than by having a female lull you into unconsciousness with her voice and the strings in the background don’t help much either – what I’m trying to say is this is an awesome track! Needs to be heard and the beat could not have confused me any further… is this a hip-hop track or what?
What Do People Do All Day? If this song were something to go by then we’d be having sex, as this is a sexy track. It has a bit of a St. Germain feel to it.
No Restriction featuring Souls Of Mischief. The last time I heard these fellas was on Quannum Spectrum. Grandcentral seem to have found a niche with the US hip-hop stars with Funky Fresh Few with Afu Ra, Only Child and Kriminul and Rae & Christian teaming up with the Pharcyde. This track sounds very similar to the latter team up, with it’s xylophone and funky drum beat.
Fall Break. What do students get up to during their Fall Break? Party and get drunk. This track really sounds like a violinist getting drunk and melancholy on top of a beat so phat it was probably pulled off some battle breaks LP. You’d think it was a chillout track but then the hiphop sample just proves you wrong. This is hiphop production taken to the next level baby.
Guimar. Getting quite upbeat for this track, Aim decides to pull off Samba style and it seems to work well. This one features Sneaky from Fingathing on bass who works wonders on the lower end of the sound spectrum, but the most appealing part is the uptempo beat accompanied by a cheeky sax line.
Good Disease featuring Stephen Jones. Going a little slower on this track, we hear a singer getting all falsetto with his voice on a track that sounds quite groovy and jazzy, it could make an impression either in the background, on the headphones or played live.
The Omen featuring Diamond D. Diamond D, who is able to both produce a good hip hop track and kick some lyrical flow, sometimes at the same time, represents well on this track. The low end bass line with the orchestral stabs seem to suit his rhyme flow quite well – not too fast, not too slow
Linctus. Getting quite chilled and atmospheric. This is more like the Aim we all know. A lazy trumpet sample just makes you want to kick back and the strings in the background just help you create that ambient feel.
Viper. A return to the spy theme which the Propellerheads made so popular back in 97. This track is upbeat with a phat beat and has those crazy horn stabs we’ve come to expect from a spy theme (during the action of course).
A Twilight Zone. Folk rock in a chillout album? This one sounds a little strange to these ears, however it shows that Aim is not only decent at producing a trip hop number but also adept at pretty much anything he adds his magic to. It’s another vocal track, with some uncredited singer.
From A Seaside Town. This one is a better track than the previous one. Piano line which sounds like Satie and yet again, Aim seems to sample another sax line for use in his track. Another atmospheric track which allows your mind to float.
Hinterland. Aim’s title tracks seem to be dark and moody and this one is no different. Has a quite scary movie feel to it with a sample of a horror movie being the main part of the song. The flute sample takes it further into horror/suspense movie territory.
Aim seems to want to take hip hop into a new level as he explores the drum beats and uses them in different contexts. If you’re a fan of the laidback leftfield hip hop style like the Avalanches, DJ Shadow, Automator, Ninjatune, Rae & Christian and other Grandcentral recording artists, then this is one album you should get in your selection. Grandcentral artists seem to get better with every release they put out. Personally I found Rae & Christian’s Sleepwalking a little better than Northern Sulphuric Soul. Creative Vibes have outdone themselves again with another fine release from a label (Grandcentral) which seems to suit their style a lot better than their previous distributor.