Pedro – You, Me & Everyone
Mon 26th Feb, 2007 Music Reviewsin
Pedro is James Rutledge, an English lad who wants you to think he makes good music. Luckily for him, he does. Releasing his first EP in 1999 to critical acclaim, Pedro followed that up with a number of other early releases. He was also playing in the Dakota Oak Trio with two school friends. During the recording of their debut album, he learned that one of them, Dave Tyack, went missing and died while on holiday. This forced Pedro to take a break from music for almost two years. Thankfully, he decided to come back and record his latest release ‘You, Me & Everyone’, a record he claims was inspired by a dream he had.
Pedro is a producer’s producer. You can tell by the way he carefully fashions his tracks together. No sound seems out of place, no blip where it shouldn’t be. On his new long player, Pedro, has assembled a cacophony of sounds and instead of mish mashing them together (as is quickly becoming the norm these days), has meticulously crafted a wonderful sounding record. Having worked with a multitude of artists, such as The Pastels, Kevin Shields and Kathryn Williams, and being remixed by the likes of Dangermouse, Prefuse 73 and Four Tet, Pedro shows that everyone he meets has possibly influenced him. Combining full instrumentation with a hip hop, jazz and rock sound isn’t easy. That’s what makes this album so rewarding. You can appreciate how difficult it may have been to come up with the concept, let alone actually make it. I realise that a lot of people won’t get this record, let alone like the sound of it, but Pedro to me seems like a kid who is experiencing the world of sound for the first time, and is amazed by everything he comes in contact with. There’s nothing more refreshing than the naïveté of a child, and that’s what comes across with this album.
The drumming and cowbell sample, coupled with what seem to be retro video game sound effects on ‘Red Apples” is surprisingly catchy. On ‘Hope is a Happiness’, he visits a dark hip hop beat and a sound that evokes feelings of loss or uncertainty. This is clearly one of the stand out tracks of the album. Other highlights include ‘Vitamins’, ‘Lung’ and ‘Sound Song’, which features a hauntingly beautiful sample of water running. This album will probably get compared to the likes of The Avalanches’ ‘Since I Left You’, because of its stop/start, cut and paste like feel. But that’s where the similarities end. This is a purely instrumental, aural album. There are no lyric samples to be heard. The repetition of sounds is all that guides you and this is probably for the better. Anything more may have been too ambitious and too confusing.
‘You, Me & Everyone’ is getting high rotation on the radio at the moment and Pedro has received critical praise from magazines such as Mojo, Dazed & Confused, and has been named one URB’s ‘Next 100’. Hopefully this is an album that will not be slept on, and will be heard by as many people as humanly possible. Because this shows just what music can aspire to be – challenging and different. That’s not to say I think all music should be like this. It’s just saying that Pedro is doing something completely unique, and for this he should be praised. Do yourself a favour and grab this album. Pedro’s sound deserves to be listened to by you, me and everyone.