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Daniel Ashcroft - Album Review: Chica De La Bum

05 Feb 2024 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Daniel Ashcroft is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer based in Feilding.
His musical goals are simple: He wants to play every instrument he possibly can, explore every genre and collaborate with as many singers as possible.
Chica De La Bum is Ashcroft's foray into retro Hip Hop, combining funk guitar and shredder licks with sex-obsessed lyrics and steady-syllabic flows from the 80's and early 90's.

Chica De La Bum is a filthy, filthy album.
In the first 3 songs I learned more about one man's sexuality than I ever set out to know. Ashcroft combines his overactive libido with tongue-in-cheek puns and references, like the fast food motif of Fillet-O-Fellatio or the track I Choose You!, which names dozens of characters from the hit franchise of the 90's, Pokemon. But as puns for sex acts. It's like if Faith No More wrote The Poke' Rap.

Though it is a lot to invite into your brain - and it is a lot - it is SO MUCH that you do become desensitized to it and begin to accept it as part of the subgenre. Ashcroft's sense of humour also helps break up the asteroid field of horniness. With distractingly lateral thinking like Pancake Daddy's line: "grab a towel because shit's gonna get messy, so I hope you're not a diabetic."

The most impressive way that Ashcroft makes the gross lyrics work as an actual art piece is by providing depth in the album's semi-narrative progression.
By track four, it's obvious he has great understanding of music and how it works. Though it sounds like many parts have been programmed in an old midi interface, he's played Primus sounding bass parts and composed interesting, gaudy, funk-rock riffs in a way that shows understanding of how things are played. Every crazy, highly technical part still sounds playable in the physical world.

But it's the subject matter of 2 Minute Baby that feels truly original and hints at an album that has more to offer than 9 tracks of aimless lust. That track is about finding time for intimacy as a parent. It's honest in a way that's striking for the genre.
The song makes an even bigger left turn when it chronicles the conceiving of a child from the quickie, going so far as to feature a rap from his daughter, which feels super weird after what you've just heard. But Ashcroft surprises again when he confesses "I love being a dad, I love my son. Sometimes he just drives me a little bit crazy," before launching into a blistering solo. After 3 songs of pure animal gruff love, it's a massive surprise to hear a bit of personal home life. It makes the daughter rap make sense and it's actually really sweet. Not only that, but it's yet another way Ashcroft softens the intensity of the explicitly randy lyrics when you imagine it's all aimed at the mother of his kids.
His character sort of switches fluidly from an insane pervert to kind of a hero. Keeping his romantic flame burning like a white sun in the face of every day domestic life.

After a short musical interlude, we're back into songs about unbridled lust and sex acts, but I'm fully on board now, both my inner 12-year-old boy, relishing the naughty lyrics and my old man brain, saluting his unstoppable manly affection.

By track 8 it's clear Ashcroft knows how to structure a good album. Nothing Ever Dies is full of tasty steel string chords and lyrically it's a dedication of love amidst hard times, reminiscent of the introspection of old backpack rap, exploring how couples become distant from each other in the same home. The album ends with a really beautiful acoustic led instrumental with the title: I'm A Stupid Moron With An Ugly Face And A Big Butt And My Butt Stinks And I Like To Kiss My Own Butt.

So final thought and plot twist: actually, Chic De La Bum is a filthy, filthy, great album and Daniel Ashcroft is a really likeable, funny manchild and a talented musician.

About Daniel Ashcroft

Daniel Ashcroft is a multi instrumentalist/producer/composer based in Feilding/Palmerston North.

The concept of my project is to basically explore and write music of any genre, play any instruments I possibly can - and collaborate with as many singers as I can.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Daniel Ashcroft


Chica De La Bum
Year: 2023
Type: Album

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