Bass player for one of the world’ worst-(re)named bands, the Baggsmen, Tony Buchen recently turned his attention to building an empire. Since 2002, he has bricked in a big corner of the Sydney hip hop and beats scene producing records for Bluejuice, Andy Bull, Kid Confucius, Vassy, Entropic and Lordz of the Fly and remixing Good Buddha, Inga Liljestrom and Deepchild.
His production is tight. The vocals are impeccably layered, while warm keys, funky bass licks and grainy, gritty grooves wash the entire record. The drum programming sways woozily from lazy grooves and slowed down guitar melodies to uptempo hip hop breaks.
Buchen is clearly working a Machiavellian angle, drafting in an eclectic bunch of guests including Edo Kahn from Sydney indie rockers Gelbison and Jake Stone from Bluejuice. Kahn reaches for Flaming Lips style psychedelic beat pop on Disappointed, but doesn’ get past the line. Stone’ contribution aims for Zach de la Rocha crossed with Bowie, but ends up about as threatening as a small boy wrestling with a golden retriever.
A cover of Alan Jackson’ Here in the Real World featuring David Beckett, a Murri People busker Buchen noticed singing on a street corner, is a highlight, but at the end of the album it’s too little too late. While Buchen’ aiming to be another David Axelrod or Lalo Schifrin, he’ so aware of his instrumental virtuosity and obviously advanced production skills that he seems to have forgotten music needs something more to ignite. A spark?