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melo 028

Assebled By
Lay Down Mega Man (mp3)
Field Angels
Akira Theme
This Time Last Week
Chapel Was My Dream (mp3)
The Right Way to Play Chess
Blessed is the Savant
Demons in Cases
To Lie Here and To Not Go Out
Part 2

4th April 2005

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Early Pedro

His debut single should be regarded as a classic in years to come, and contained many an idea that has since born fruit for many an artist… Frames of reference now exist for Pedro's music, and he inhabits a world where hip hop aesthetics breed with electronica, jazz and folk.’ - DJ Magazine

Oozes charm and originality.’ - The Face

Expands Hip Hop’s range of shading and tones.- The Wire

Songs of pastoral wonder and elemental force.- NME

Early Pedro is a collection of the first three acclaimed EPs by James Rutledge. These are records that crept out into the musical world and influenced a whole bunch of people, appearing way before the current resurgence of folk music. With nods from Danger Mouse, Fennesz, Four Tet, Hood, Kevin Shields, Prefuse 73, Andrew Weatherall and Thom Yorke, Pedro has slowly forged a glowing reputation.

At the tender age of 19, James had begun playing with school friends in the post-rock group Dakota Oak Trio. Whilst their chaotic sound went on to inspire a host of successful Manchester peers and young audience members, James was eager to find an outlet for his burgeoning interest in hip hop, 60s folk, modern classical, free jazz psychedelics and early electronic music.

The first Pedro EP was recorded in 1998 and released summer 1999, launching a record company and artist in one fell swoop. James traded eager phone conversations with David Cooper from his university halls. The two became friends, and David launched his own empire - Pedro’s parent label Melodic Records. A steady ascent has established the label as a strong Manchester imprint, recently being described by the NME as ‘the coolest label in the country.’

James Rutledge was raised in Derbyshire and educated at Oxford, but relocated to Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire in order to be closer to the Manchester scene he was involved in. Here the second EP was recorded, with Rutledge becoming more withdrawn, only venturing out to work on the lauded dreamy/bonkers Pedro Vs Kathryn Williams EP and a soundtrack with The Pastels, Kevin Shields and John McEntire.

After moving to London, James’ output became more prolific and recognised, with 2003’s debut album born to showers of acclaim. Following this, the Fear & Resilience Remix LP featured collaborations with associate luminaries Cherrystones, Danger Mouse, Four Tet, Koushik and Prefuse 73 (whose mix also appears on the forthcoming Prefuse 73 LP Surrounded by Silence). A second album is nearly finished. Expect a load of collaborations soon.

Early Pedro aims to complete the set, and end frustration at the inflated Ebay prices of James’ back catalogue. Spanning 15 tracks, and wrapped in a beautiful sleeve by Fridge’s Sam Jeffers, Early Pedro charts the progression of not only the young man and his music, but also the label established in his first few steps. Expect a heavy manipulation of genres and samples, from warbling hand looped beats to unhinged fizzing electronics. Cock your head in appreciation to sounds that haven’t aged a day since their inception. Early Pedro could not have arrived a moment sooner.

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