I’ve been meaning to write this review since before the COVID-19 pandemic. As you can see, I got derailed.
During this time, this record has managed to stay one of tens of to-do lists I have burrowed into my evernote and in my paper notebooks. Disorganization, be damned.
This record deserves a review.
And before I put words to the ineffable, a short run-down of just who Container is is in order, according to my rather limited knowledge of the musician. I first saw Container in 2017 at a Hassle show in a Caribbean restaurant on the side of a highway in Somerville, Some Ting’ Nice for those folks who can remember. At the time I was living a two minute walk away from the joint in East Somerville, so I really couldn’t say no.
Due to the weed and alcoholic ginger beer, the night was going pretty alright, nothing too eventful. When Container played, my perception of music changed. I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly, but I have never looked at music the same way and I’ll never forget where I was when I first heard Ren’s music.
Container is the moniker of Ren Schofield, originally from PVD now London-based, Ren has been making music since at least the early 2010’s and travels the world playing clubs, electronic festivals, and so on.
Over numerous releases, Container’s music has somewhat morphed, gotten slightly cleaner around the edges and is slightly less distorted, but no less raunchy and raw. Though this record is more bubbly than his past few, less dark and noisy, more light and spacious. I’m not saying that the music is light and spacious, but in the context of Container’s music, it is difficult to keep the same tone Ren reached with “LP” 2015. So SCRAMBLERS sees the settling in of Container into the virtual garbage incinerator that is his brand of electronic music. But kind of happy!
Overall, if the Hassle had a rating system of 10, I would give this record a 7.8. Though it is not as absolutely intoxicating as Container’s earlier releases, the excruciating mental exercise of what is life SCRAMBLERS induces is in lockstep with Ren’s earlier output. Thus, making this record one of a kind in a musical landscape fraught with boredom or imitation. There really is no imitating or boredom within Container’s repertoire. It is pulverizing, relentless, captivating, yet freeing.
Also should the Hassle music section adopt a rating system? LMK at [email protected] or in the comments below.
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Chris Hues is a human & writer from Boston, Ma & Associate Editor of bostonhassle.com. //// They can be reached at [email protected] or @crsjh_ via instagram & twitter.