Release Date: Sep 16, 2016
Record label: DFA
Genre(s): Electronic, House, Club/Dance, Left-Field House
Dance music and nursery rhyme allusions aren't the most expected pairing, but that's why Crooked Man is such an apt name for Richard Barratt's house music project. His path through the music industry has certainly been winding: he began as a DJ in '80s Sheffield; pioneered bleep techno with Sweet Exorcist in the '90s; and produced music with and for acts such as All Seeing I and Róisín Murphy in the 2000s and 2010s. As Crooked Man, Barratt (along with engineer Dave Lewin and songwriter Mick Ward) combines all of this experience on the project's transcendent full-length debut.
Richard Barratt was there. He was there when the Sheffield youth first started mixing drum machines and soul, when Cabaret Voltaire begat Human League, before Heaven 17 and ABC went global. He was there when pub DJs started giving themselves ridiculous names, like his own pseudonym DJ Parrott, and tried their hand at building a Paradise Garage on every corner.
"There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile. He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile." So goes an old English nursery rhyme dating from the 19th century. It's a fitting name for Sheffield's Richard Barratt, who's zig-zagged from late '80s acid house as The Funky Worm to early IDM as half of Sweet Exorcist and the acid jazz of The All Seeing I.
Crooked Man 'Crooked Man' (DFA)Richard Barratt, aka DJ Parrot, is a true UK legend. From his start at Sheffield’s legendary Jive Turkey club in the 80s, he’s released epoch-defining bleep’n’bass records as half of Sweet Exorcist (helping to cement the success of WARP Records in the process), formed a third of All Seeing I, worked with Róisín Murphy, Jarvis Cocker and The 2 Bears, and put out plenty of cult 12”s under various aliases. He’s always remained very much in the shadows, though – but that might change now that DFA have given him a platform.