In 2007, Daniel Stephens and David Peter Meads (that’s Le Sac and Pip to you) first came to the attention of the public with ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’, five minutes of alternative commandments to live by. Word spread through the medium of youtube, the video becoming that most important but slightly meaningless of words – an online -phenomenon’. Never destined to be anything more than a fringe pleasure due to their uncommercial collocation of informative spoken word and bleepy electro-hip-hop underlay, they released their debut Angles in 2008 to moderate interest.
After modest commercial success and a period of quiet, The Logic of Chance, is a somewhat surprising follow-up to the debut. But while the glitchy, leftfield antics of Dan Le Sac and Scroobius Pip might not be to everyone’s taste, there is definitely something worth investigating here. Spoken word has a tendency to be preachy and pretentious but Pip manages to keep his political leanings interesting and conversational. Inspiring is perhaps a step too far but it feels pleasantly educational without being forced.
A myriad of issues are covered here from Britain’s knife crime (‘Great Britain’) to youthful indiscretion (‘Get Better’) to domestic violence. Juxtaposed with the dreamy female vocals of the upside-down love story -Cauliflower’, the darkly ambient ‘Five Minutes’ presents a hard-hitting tale of emptiness and abuse, clichÃ©-free. Call-to-arms, Stake a Claim is a power anthem for the disillusioned youth calling on people to get out there and make a stand. An inspiration to a protest march, a cry for dissolution of apathy, Pip outlines his manifesto: ‘I will not move, I will not change, I will not bend, I will not play their games.’ In sharp contract, ‘The Beat’, is nothing but clubby, mindless fun. Dan Le Sac breaks away from his usual clipped beats and enjoys upbeat, party-house, reminiscent of French electro-house maestro Mr Oizo.
It’s been said that there is nothing on this album that compares to the initial hit of ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’ – and it’s true. But this is a different piece of work. Concise – coming in at 45 minutes – with 11 solid tracks, The Logic of Chance, proves Dan Le Sac and Scroobius Pip are no novelty act. Initially it hits with minor appeal but repeated listens show just how good this intelligent, beat-heavy, hip-hop/poetry combo is.