"Clutchy Hopkins is a multi-instrumentalist who recorded under
various pseudonyms throughout his entire musical career; his recorded
output consists of everything from field recordings of his travels to
avant compositions, to jazz to funk. These recordings were up to this
point unknown to the public. His father had been a recording engineer
for Motown bands and had taught him intricate recording techniques when
he was just a young boy. This knowledge Clutchy used to his advantage
during his travels, working in recording studios from Bombay to Cairo.
When Clutchy was just 20 years old he traveled to the Far East and was under the tutelage of Rinzai Zen monks in Japan for many years investigating silence and the rhythms of silence in music. Later, he studied Raja Yoga in India to master and articulate the movements of the body and its relation to sound.
When he returned to the US Clutchy used his recording techniques to produce his own music and create instruments of his own. He has played with many groups primarily in the jazz, funk, avant setting. During his recording with other musicians Clutchy refused to contribute his name to the recordings, preferring to use a pseudonym or no name at all. He was purportedly good friends with Moondog and did some recordings with him; these recordings are yet to be found. His recordings span from the early 70s to the late 90s covering a whole spectrum of musical styles. After these recordings came to the surface, we have tried to contact the original source where these recordings were found unfortunately that source has since died. It is said by locals who knew him that Clutchy Hopkins returned to the Mojave Desert to finish his life out living in an underground cave; no one has heard from him since."
"What we do know about him, and it's the most important thing, is that
this music is F-U-N-K-Y...The rawest, grittiest, skin-slapping this
side of The Meters..."
"There's a spare, spacious approach here that almost reminds us of the
energy that we first felt in DJ Shadow's groundbreaking work of a
decade before -- a similar love of gritty, organic source material --
and an ear for putting it together with lots of dark twists and turns
that balance nicely between classic funk and current hip hop production
sensibilities. The flavor of each tune changes nicely -- making the
album way more than just a clichéd collection of beats..."
"The disc is chock full of slick jazz/funk fusion hip-hop beats that
plays out like a soundtrack to the life of the Clutchster
himself...Walking Backwards is nice change of pace from the norm as far
as instrumental discs goes, with many using more samples and
synthesizers than actual live instrumentation, with Hopkins apparently
manning nearly all of the instrumentation. As a result, Clutchy proves
that he's hipper than your average bum off the street, and he can play
a mean flute...and drums, and organ, and harp..."
(Update 02/09: mp3 taken down and stream added at request of label).
Ubiquity at SXSW post