Utrecht-based producer Inf (real name Bas Te Braak) originally started off his musical career as an MC back in the early noughties, releasing two albums (2002’s ‘Idiot Savant’s and 2004’s ‘Repeasant’) before retiring his microphone skills in favour of focusing on his beats and production. Five years on from 2009’s ‘The Go Round’, this latest collection ‘Music For Crime Scenes’ offers up 18 instrumental tracks that despite the ambiguously dark sleeve art and title lean distinctly towards warm funk and soul infused hiphop grooves. The added twist here though is that no samples of other peoples’ records were used here, with Braak rather impressively, playing all of the featured backing instrumentation himself. ‘Final Boss’ opens things here with sheeny synths rippling against clattering boom-bap beats before muted cornets and dusty-sounding funk guitar riffs fade into view, and a sudden clavinet breakdown leads things off into the sort of dusty jazz grooves beloved of ‘Endtroducing’-era DJ Shadow, albeit given a slightly more contemporary synth undertow.
‘Power Moves, B-Boy’ meanwhile veers far closer towards early RJD2 as fuzzed-up funk grooves and stabbing organs cling tightly to a limber backing of clattering, cut-up drum breaks and rattling percussion, before ‘Mad Face Mug’ sees the majestic jazz horns coming to the forefront amidst dusty snare rolls and shimmering webs of analogue synth noise. Elsewhere, ‘Melancholy’ takes feathery harpsichords and curiously jaunty organ keys and sends them bouncing against robust MPC punched beats before waspy synth atmospheres arrive alongside accordions to take things off into territory more reminiscent of some sci-fi spaghetti western than anything else. The smoky ‘Awasa Connection’ meanwhile easily offers up this album’s most dubby moment as Black Ark-esque horns brood against subtle funk guitars and dusty-sounding hiphop loops. While a lot of this album traverses territory extremely well travelled by the likes of Shadow and Madlib by this point, ‘Music For Crime Scenes’ sees Braak consistently bringing quality grooves to the table.