If Clutchy Hopkins is a real person, then the savvy bongos, creamy basslines and haunting keyboards on Walking Sdrawkcab
are all the work of a mysterious old man who lives in a California cave. Story goes that a box of reel to reels was found at a yard sale in 1992 with 10 albums worth of music all, as it turns out, recorded by this nomadic man. Current reps for Hopkins, who call themselves The Misled Children, supposedly re-mastered the music and added instrumentation. The legend, of course, has underground music connoisseurs and critics tossing around theories including that Clutchy’s really the Beastie Boys, DJ Shadow or Cut Chemist. Let your mind wander.
But while the rumor mill overshadows this mostly-instrumental album, Walking Sdrawkcab
turns out to be a tremendously tight creation. It’s cooled by frosty blips and beeps, warmed by Spanish guitar, and sometimes visited briefly by soulfully wailing vocals. Though there’s a slight flavor of the Beastie Boys’ “Bobo on the Corner” (hmmm…), other songs are less predictably hip; sometimes buttery smooth and often funereal.
Whoever Clutchy may be—crazy mountain man or elaborate hoax—he’s at least produced a stalwart album.