Ben Cook of Young Guv on Robbie M – “Let’s Groove”


When Ben Cook’s not holding down time in Fucked Up he’s genre mining as Young Guv. The solo project began around ’08 knocking through lo-fi garage and eventually winding through power pop and home recorded funk. I’ve always had a soft spot for Cook’s power pop prowess, the bulk of which came to a head on 2015’s Ripe For Love release for Slumberland. He’s returned to some of the same impulses this year with a new record for Run For Cover. Ben took a little time to riffle through his stacks for a record that’s been lost to to time and this one’s looks like it’s had a bit of impact on Cook’s funk sojourn on for Night School last year. Check his dive into Robbie M below.

Recalling how the record came into his life, Cook recounts, “I came across Robbie quite randomly digging around and talking to fellow heads at Grasshopper Records in Toronto in like 2014. It opened up PPU Records to me and other artists they put out like Dwight Sykes, Moon B, and Glass Pyramid. A lot of it is re-issued basement funk I think was only released on cassette in the 80’s or sometimes never released at all. It’s my favourite label, for sure.” 

As for why is the record remains such a such a hidden treasure, Ben notes, “I’m just not sure many people know about Robbie. I covered “You’ve Been Acting Strange Lately” on my 2 sad 2 funk record. His recordings are some of the most heart-breakingly real and honest and perfectly produced music I’ve ever heard. Just this hella random dude making super catchy songs in his basement and probably having no idea what to do with them in the end. It hit home for me. I guess PPU found his tapes at some point and have been releasing them ever since. I like music when its grimy and almost feels unfinished. It sounds like a broken, yard sale bought stereo system jammin’ out some Jam & Lewis produced hits. That’s my shit.” 

Naturally then I wondered if Robbie M had rubbed off on Young Guv’s own style, and Cook admits, “I’ve wanted to make music like Robbie ever since I heard it and will always be trying to achieve this kind of greasy production no matter what style of music I am creating.” I’d say that even when the pop is thicker and the funk siphoned off, Cook still achieves that level of slipperiness to his works, so the Robbie M connection is going strong. The Robbie reissue is still widely available for those looking to pick this one up and while you’re at it, nab Young Guv’s latest as well, because it’s among his best.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.  

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