At this point it’s safe to say that anything released on College of Knowledge will get a shoutout on Endless Crate. The record label responsible for Melbourne’s breakout cinematic soul scene, the depth and breadth of their catalog is straight killer no filler. Released late last year, The Pro-Teens’ debut album, I Flip My Life Every Time I Fly, is no exception and continues the imprint’s flawless run of fantastic releases that represent the best of hip-hop influenced soul.
Similar to New York City’s revivalist soul scene led by labels like Big Crown and Daptone, acts under the College of Knowledge umbrella feature an interchangeable cast of players who frequent multiple bands at once. Led by drummer/percussionist Hudson Whitlock (who also plays in the bands Surprise Chef and Karate Boogaloo), The Pro-Teens feature a revolving collective of Melbourne instrumentalists performing under pseudonyms straight out of MF Doom-esque comic book lore – “Snooch Dodd,” “Dead Honest Dean Amazing” and “Libby Clique-Baite,” to name a few.
This tongue in cheek approach drove the band’s naming but it doesn’t dominate their music, which is definitely on some gritty, boom bap-laced soul, all dirty drums and melodies straight out of rap’s golden era. I Flip My Life Every Time I Fly is a groove-heavy session, laid down straight to tape using vintage analogue recording techniques. The band’s off-kilter rhythms bring vintage Wu-Tang Clan and Mobb Deep beats to mind, mixed with the hard funk stylings of bands like The Fabulous Three and El MIchels Affair. Galt MacDermot’s production style is also cited as an influence and his film score take is imbued throughout the album.
It’s another can’t miss album from College of Knowledge, staking Melbourne’s claim as the new soul capital of the world.