Reviews

Crooked Man
Crooked House

(DFA)

7/10

As one of the first DJs to play ‘house’ music in the UK, a pioneer of the Northern bleep/bass scene, and a one-time member of cult ’90s act All Seeing I, Richard Barratt (aka Crooked Man) has always been iconoclastic. It’s a feeling that’s played out through his mercurial music career as a DJ, producer and trailblazer, and that freethinking approach, alongside some of his more esoteric tendencies (he quit DJing in the early ’90s) saw DFA (via Tim Sweeney’s Beats in Space show) pick up on Barratt’s work. Not that he’d even really heard of the DFA label.

Still, despite his absence from the club, his dedication to spinning bass-heavy house grooves and soulful vocals into fun dance-pop endured. He once said, “I can never quite get my head round DJs that don’t like dancing themselves,” and that spirit fundamentally fuels ‘Crooked House’.

The power keys of ‘Walls’ bounce off the mellow house of ‘Turnaround’; ‘Long Time Dead’ gets bleepy and breathless (think Alison Goldfrapp stiletto-strutting across a disco-era NYC loft); and ‘Echo Loves Narcissus’ builds into a brilliant, interstellar mix of dubby bass and drizzling synth that underscores this album’s most compelling traits: music from a place of happiness, inclusivity, Sheffield.

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support our running costs (the printing and distribution fees, the podcast and production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for works out at £3 per month for UK subscribers, charged yearly.

If that seems like a bit of a punt, you can pay-as-you-go for £4 per month and cancel any time you like. European and world plans are available too, at the lowest rate we can afford.

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.