Hello Skinny (Album)

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[[Genre::Avant-jazz| ]][[Genre::Electronic| ]][[Genre::Experimental| ]]

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Hello Skinny
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Hello Skinny cover art
Studio album by Hello Skinny
ReleasedNovember 12, 2012
GenreAvant-jazz, Electronic, Experimental
LabelSlowfoot Records
ProducerTom Skinner

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Hello Skinny is the brainchild of in-demand drummer extraordinaire Tom Skinner, who's other current involvements include Sons Of Kemet, Mulatu Astatke, Matthew Herbert, Eska, Finn Peters and The Owiny Sigoma Band amongst many others.

Taking its cue from a song by The Residents, the project is Skinner's first as bandleader, composer and producer [playing most of the instruments] and sees him exploring areas around and between psych-dub, electronics, downtown/freak jazz and folk stylings. This debut album follows on from his widely spread 'Smash + Grab' mixtape and takes the musical themes from that release and flexes and focuses the sound into a coherent, deep, soulful listening experience, featuring contributions from Shabaka Hutchings, Tom Herbert (of The Invisible), Byron Wallen, Trudie Dawn Smith and Nick Ramm.

Album opener ‘Aquarius’ sets the tone with its combination of electronic bleeps and drones, synth squelches and a Morricone –esque refrain, underpinned by Skinner’s vibrant groove. Next up, the title track, and cover of The Residents tune, whose main riff is re-configured as a dubby bassline which builds to incorporate an intense rhythmic work out, propelled by some fiery saxophone work courtesy of Shabaka Hutchings. ‘Crush’ and ‘Knot Blue’ continue to marry taut and soulful grooves and dubbed out experimental electronics with strong melodic themes, whilst ‘Bump’ again invites Hutchings to prowl its warped electronic landscape with his sax. Tracks like ‘Foot Tap’, ‘The Sky Is Falling’ and ‘Venus’ take a more acoustic turn and demonstrate Skinner’s skill as a composer with a strong ear for an exquisite melody. The track 'Crush' was picked up by Gilles Peterson, featuring on his ‘Brownswood Bubblers 8’ compilation. In all, ‘Hello Skinny’ plays out as eclectic, cinematic and as retro-phuture funky as a library (music) of Soul Jazz compilations.

Critical Reception

"...a warm, breathable, downright cozy mixture of African rhythms, low-key electronics, and Krautrock shimmer... ... There's been nothing else quite like it this year." [Spin]

"...existing in that fertile zone where jazz, dub, techno and avant-pop deliquesce into an exhilarating free-for-all... ...Introspective, eclectic brain-groove of the month." [Mojo]

"..this long-awaited solo debut is an impressive exercise in the integration of an expectedly wide range of aesthetics, revealing first abd foremost a thoughtful composer with a skilled producer's ear. An unforced alliance of player and beatmaker, with measured, apt, concise statements." [BBC]

"The album is atmospheric but never austere; Its themes are strong and memorable, but never heavy handed or trite. Hello Skinny nods to a plethora of influences and yet remains resolutely itself" [Nick Southgate - The Wire]

"A short collection of sketches, Hello Skinny is still a smartly constructed, casually cool debut." [Bowlegs]

"...Skinner creates an engrossing, experimental sound, at times sounding liek a lysergic Morricone - 'Aquarius', 'Me And My Lady', at others like Four Tet - 'Bump', 'Crush' - whilst always keeping expectations in flux." [Boomkat]

"...a nice jazzy electro mash-up with occasional hints of post-punk spikiness and queasy dub rhythms... ...at its best Hello Skinny recalls latter-day 23 Skidoo." [Rock A Rolla]

"Although he makes Hello Skinny as unique-sounding as he can, Skinner also keeps it listenable, his hybrid sounds coming across as warm rather than overpowering." [Drowned In Sound]

"It cannot fall neatly within the limiting parameters of known music genres, and to try to pigeonhole it would be entirely missing the point. This is art. This is Tom Skinner’s sound - a personal sound that many can enjoy while basking in the shining talents of Hello Skinny." [The Couch Sessions]

"Hello Skinny moves like a serpent that slithers along polyrhythmic tribal drum patterns, freak-jazz, and vaguely psychedelic-folk... ...the tension that builds up as a result of the album's unpredictability is extraordinary." [The 405]

Product Information

  • Barcode: 5060039070240
  • Catalogue Number: SLOCD019
  • Format: Album
  • Sound Carrier: Digital

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Tom Skinner, unless noted. 

No. TitleWriter(s)ISRC Length
1. "Aquarius"  Tom Skinner, UniversalGBGNZ1200142 3.32
2. "Hello Skinny"  The ResidentsGBGNZ1200143 5.23
3. "Crush"  Tom Skinner, Shabaka HutchingsGBGNZ1200144 5.04
4. "Foot Tap"   GBGNZ1200145 1.52
5. "Bump"  Tom Skinner, Shabaka HutchingsGBGNZ1200146 4.54
6. "Knot Blue"   GBGNZ1200147 5.57
7. "Venus"   GBGNZ1200148 3.02
8. "Me And My Lady"   GBGNZ1200149 2.36
9. "The Sky Is Falling"   GBGNZ1200150 4.12
Total length:



Additional performers

  • Shabaka Hutchings - Clarinets on tracks 2 and 3, baritone sax on tracks 2 and 5
  • Tom Herbert - Acoustic bass on 4 and 8
  • Nick Ramm - MS20 on track 2
  • Byron Wallen - Trumpet, flugelhorn and baritone horn on track 7
  • Trudie Dawn Smith - Vocals on track 7


Additional mixing

  • Dilip Harris on tracks 1-7
  • Chris Morphitis on tracks 8 and 9


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External Links