Features | Awards

The Jean-Luc Godard Award for Best Self-Conscious Meta-Mixtape

By Calum Marsh | 15 December 2011

Night Bus II
(Self-released; 2011)

CFCF and his laptop are back in action, a year after his trendily eclectic Do U Like Night Bus? won the prodigious Jean-Luc Godard Award For Best Self-Conscious Meta-Mixtape in these pages, with that mixtape’s even trendier sequel, the succinctly titled Night Bus II. Much like that time the end of A$AP Rocky’s record transitioned incongruously into Oneohtrix Point Never’s new one in the middle of my iPod’s “Recently Added” playlist, Night Bus II brings exactly these two artists together for the hipster mashup of the moment. CFCF listens to hip-hop and ambient noise music, and R&B and free jazz and ’80s bands and a whole lot of other things that don’t sound alike, and he’s savvy enough to know that you probably do, too, and that you like your tastes to be validated.

Which is fine, because, hey, so do I, and I get a whole lot of pleasure out of spotting both the rap sample and the ambient noise sample, because I have omnivorous, unquestionably awesome taste. CFCF has awesome taste, too, as evidenced by the fact the record begins with a Blade Runner sample, which is also where it gets its evocative and very cool cover image, and, hey, isn’t that an awesome movie? So CFCF has impeccable taste and chooses his samples really well, but what makes both of these mixtapes better than the sum of their well-selected parts is that he’s also just a really talented producer, and puts this stuff together in interesting, uniformly great-sounding ways. I think this guy has a very clear idea of “night bus” as a coherent mood or atmosphere, and he’s one of the best at sustaining it across a record—in fact this is probably the closest anybody’s come to replicating the tone of Burial’s veritable night bus blueprint Untrue (2007), which, considering that’s a cobbled-together mixtape built partly around rap and pop samples, is pretty impressive.