Über Mr. Scruff
Far from nightlife's usual excesses, you won't find Mr. Scruff advocating anything more dangerous than dancing whilst sipping a warm cup of tea. Having long called London's Ninja Tune home, he's less the label's court jester than he is his footed-pajama-wearing, snack-time storyteller. That's not to say that his music, meticulously stitched together out of vintage funk, soul, reggae, rock and folk, and kitted out with good-natured sound effects and squirrelly electronic touches, is lightweight. Scruff, aka Manchester's Andy Carthy, knows what gives funk its oomph, and his albums and DJ sets both show an unusual facility for a danceable groove. But favoring psychedelic touches over the scowls of his comrades in trip-hop, Scruff's life-affirming music stands in a category of its own: This is the stuff of all-ages outdoor festivals (preferably, attended in wackily printed Wellies). And his easygoing collages work equally well in more sedate settings -- no wonder the jack-of-all-trades sells his own line of tea in his spare time. This is as cozy as electronic music gets.