schmoozing hip hop boom bap with: HART – Cruisin #HipHop #BoomBap #Downtempo #Chill @HARTsbeats

•May 25, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Dialing things right back down with HART.

She describes herself as London born, Sheffield bred and as “a producer of smooth soulful, jazzy arrangements, as well as progressive nu-jazz designed to massage the ear canals.” Nu-jazz is my idea of hell given its noodly connotations but new single Cruisin is damn fine.

Cruisin delivers a lovely moody bass and a sprinkling of top notes. Everything is low slung with sleazy beats to match. Even the parp of sax can’t disturb the oily surface of this track. It’s an intoxicating brew. This has a deep appreciation of dub, with more than a little echo of Nightmares on Wax’s finest moments casually thrown in for good measure. Delicious.

The Voltron of synths on: Rich Aucoin – Tonto #Synth #Experimental #Downtempo

•May 24, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Take a big, big synth and three hours of music, and then turn it into one six-minute track. That’s what Rich Aucoin has done on Tonto. Is the title consciously aping Spanish to mean stupid or are there other layers here? Who knows?

Rich Aucoin is from Halifax, Nova Scotia. His boig says that he “has made it his life’s work to transform our fear into fun, anxiety into ecstasy, panic into pleasure.” That gives you an idea of what’s at play here. And add to that that he cycled across Canada for his first tour with all shows being a fundraiser for The Childhood Cancer Foundation (now Childhood Cancer) and that he ran half-marathons for another charity tour across Canada for the Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation while recording his first full-length record which had over 500 musician collaborators on it. No half measures here.

Before coming to the sound of Tonto it’s perhaps important to expalin that was made on the TONTO synthesizer in Calgary at the National Music Centre. TONTO is the first and largest multitimbral polyphonic analog synthesizer in the world.

Now we’ve got that out of the way, how does it sound? Rather good actually. It has an experimental slightly unhinged tinge that keeps everything just a bit off-balance in a good way. There’s no JMJ noodling here. This is pushing synths to their angry buzzing machine edges. It’s that buzzing taken to the edge but not over into distortion that really makes this track. There are eerie space synths atop that. There’s no hook or melody in a conventional sense. But it is quite funkily melodic.

When you try to analyse the track it makes no sense at all. But if you just let it vibrate through you it makes perfect sense and reveals the mysteries of the universe (probably).

Heartfelt breakbeat with: Precursor – Opulent #Breakbeat #Electronica

•May 23, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Opulent, from Opes (Latin for wealth), means ostentatiously costly and luxurious but also rich in appearance. It’s this latter meaning that Precursor is aiming for on his lush breakbeat track Opulent.

Precursor is the Dutch producer and composer Quirijn Verhoog. His work blends techno with electronica and a dash of extra sauce. On Opulent he takes a Bicep style techno house stew and adds extra breakbeats for a rich sensual concoction. And he offers it with the question “How does AI view beauty?”

The track is shimmering keyboards and a pitter patter of beats. This opens out into a low bass that rises towards epiphany. The breakbeats are there but kept slightly offstage to allow the soaring keyboards to chunter their way effortlessly skyward. This is euphoria writ large. Very large.

Ambient Sunday with Mason Lynass, and Loops & Loops #Ambient #Chill #Downtempo #IDM

•May 22, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Ambient Sunday today is a mixture of IDM and lofi chill coming from Mason Lynass and Loops & Loops.

Mason Lynass is up first. He’s a musician, sound designer, and music producer living in Seattle, WA. Here’s a track, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, Brown, from his new Music For An Ordinary Day album. Rather sweetly, the download from Bandcamp for the album comes with a Santal & lavender & eucalyptus candle.

I’m assuming that Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, Brown comes from the changing colours of leaves through the year. The pleasure in the ordinary and the otherwise overlooked pervades the album. Mason says of it that “I hope you can use this music to take a moment for yourself, to motivate you through the day, or to open your mind to the things that might seem mundane.”

The track is a mix of Eno-type wallpaper ambient with added deep bass and a bit of IDM awkwardness. It has a central chime and washes tones but never disappears into itself. It has a sense of gentle awe and wonder at the things all around us as it parps its way along. It’s a stroll in the park with the pots and pans of human activity. So as it starts does it end with that deep bass going to fade. Lovely.

Loops & Loops is also from the USA with work that stretches from indie to dream pop in a side project started during quarantine. But featured track Hazy Afternoon goes for a lofi downtempo appeal.

The track is taken from the new EP Just Another Day which was “constructed from various journal entries about my experiences during the day.”

Of Hazy Afternoon Loops & Loops says, “it is a chilled/downtempo track based on one literal and metaphorical hazy afternoon. Inspired by Boards of Canada, Air, and chilled tracks.” It opens with a sort of backwards melody which has a hint of awkward haze about it alongside some lofi beats giving that Study Beats appeal.

Keyboards come to give a little melody uplift but nothing too dramatic to disturb that sense of weary blurred calm. Settling into a groove these elements weave their way to the end of the track. At the end of a hot and sunny day this is the perfect stepping off point from the world outside.

Instrumentals for your days off: Leavv, MicroCosmicOrbit, and 16% SUMO #Chill #HipHop #InstrumentalHipHop #StudyBeats

•May 20, 2022 • Leave a Comment

I’m not supposed to be working today so a triple bill of hip hop chill from Leavv, MicroCosmicOrbit, and 16% SUMO.

First up the sugary delights of Caramel. Leavv is a German-based producer who creates instrumentals full of emotion and cinematic depth. Caramel is the new single, following 2020’s album Tales of a Flowing Forest.

Caramel is super smooth instrumental hip hop. A study beats focus with a really solid thump of bass beats allied to a twin track melody of gently swaying keyboards and tinkling tones. The beats stop it disappearing into the background but manages to slow down time to a pleasing, passing blur. The melody flows like a liquid centre pouring a pleasing balm over all of life’s irritations.

Like the best Werthers Orginal (beats) you never had.

MicroCosmicOrbit is from the UK and wants to take you back. The track is Kick’N it Old School. This has that authentic crate digging air of The Avanches.

There’s a bunch of 50s/60s samples on top of an old school set of beats and a spaced out set of keyboards. It has an eclectic, experimental feel that really enhances the track. Beyond that, it’s a slow, loping groove that uses the samples to retain your attention and give interest throughout.

Since the artist name MicroCsmicOrbit is a translation of the Daoist term for a full orbiting of energy through the front and back body then it’s no wonder this track vibrates you gently but profoundly to your core.

16% SUMO is not from Japan but Sweden. His biog says. “16% SUMO is a Lo fi/chill beats project initiated by an alternative rock drummer and musician, hailing from the dark woods of southern Sweden.”

His new track is All Alone, a beautiful gentle track. Inspired by feelings of loneliness and nostalgia it mixes the crunch of lofi hip hop beats and surface noise with delicious guitar. Electronics trickle away in the background. Everything has a delicate feel of silence in the air. As if the track acts as a kind of two minute orchestra of white noise to keep the world at bay. And we can all do with a bit of that from time to time.

Pre-Friday techno from: NKFT, and Nima Khaste #Techno

•May 19, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Been a few days since my last post, for which apologies. But a couple of techno crackers for you today from NKFT and Nima Khaste.

NKFT is a new name from Ireland but not a new artist. NKFT stands for Not Known For Techno. You wouldn’t know it from confidently assured debut track Tron. This nails an underground, old school techno sound.

There’s a gently throbbing bass alongside flashes of neon and 90s futurism. It’s a track comfortable enough in its own skin to leave you waiting until 1:15 to fully kick off a break and let the synths rip their way through the track. Knowing the power of anticipation the synths are soon reined back in to allow an ascending groove to deliver fulfillment.

This track strobes away with hi hats and little bits of fractured vocal. It’s a glittering prize of a track with an undercurrent of lustful sleaze.

Another debut track comes from Nima Khaste. Nima Khaste is one half of duo Whilk & Misky. Nothing milksop here. This is techno with an IDM and almost industrial tinge. This is a proper challenge for you.

Gnarly is as gnarly does. This opens with pots and pans clatter alongside whooping birds and animals. There’s a big bass kick and away we go. Chopped Eastern vocals take the strain alongside chants and shakers. It gets a bit deep down techno but is essentially an eclectic, experimental, tribal IDM melange. There’s a delightful sense of throwing a load of things into a pot, giving it a stir, and loving the result.

This has a joyous IDM cacophony that’s a pleasure to behold.

Banging breakbeats with: Hardt Antoine – Awa Power (Picpoul’s Awa Acid Remix) #Acid #Breakbeats #Techno #BassMusic

•May 13, 2022 • Leave a Comment

It’s Friday night. Time for some bass. Time for some acid. Hardt Antoine and remixer Picpoul are on hand to deliver some pumping and stomping.

Hardt Antoine is a London based Artist. He’s a DJ, Producer and Label Manager of French and West Indian descent. Picpoul is an Irish producer and DJ, also living in London.

Picpoul has remixed Hardt Antoine’s latest Awa Power track. The original track is a fairly minimal techno track but with a Detroit style and an ominous bass line. But Picpoul takes it to another level.

The remix discards the Techno beats in favour of some breakbeats. This and some unforgiving bass gives the track an extra gut punch. And if that’s not enough to whet your appetite then Picpoul throws in a splash of acid to give it that next level spin. This gives it sweeps of fizzing acid lines among some deep breaths and even deeper buzz bass. Dance floor frenzy time.

Discovering beauty with: Mythic Beats – Arc of Discovery #Ambient #Chill #Downtempo #Lounge

•May 12, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Mythic Beats returns with the release of their gorgeous third single Arc of Discovery.

As a reminder, Mythic Beats is producer and multi-instrumentalist, Jon Modell working with guitarist Ryan Judd. They are donating a percentage of their profits from this project to an amazing non-profit called Lucy’s Love Bus that provides free music therapy services for pediatric cancer patients.

Arc of Discovery is smoother than a cashmere codpiece. There are soft unhurried beats and a bit of gently tinkling ivories. All of this is overlaid by the most delicate guitar work. It’s gossamer fine but beautifully wrought. It moves along in an unhurried kinda lounge way but with the right amount of head nodding appeal. Such a delightful construction and composition.

Sit back. Relax. And enjoy.

Digging (up) the groove with: McDead – Minute Mate #Chill #TripHop #StudyBeats @EdinBarrows

•May 10, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Where archeology meets beats and the Outback.

Kev McDead is a London-born multi-instrumentalist, producer, and archaeologist now based in Melbourne, Australia. That’s quite a background. But no fossilised tunes here.

The featured track is Minute Mate, inspired by a year in exile in Belgrade away from Australia (as in the phrase ‘back in a minute mate’). This is part paean to beach life and part groovy urban jungle.

There’s a psychedelic warped opening that resolves into some summery sunny beach guitar with a hint of surf twang. It’s all surrounded by a bit of synth drone and beats that have that ‘real’ rock quality about them. A track of part chill, part soft rock, and part electronica. But most of all it’s filled with a dreamy longing.

Ambient Sunday with Catch92 @AstaHiroki #Ambient #TripHop #Chill @_catch92_

•May 8, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Ambient Sunday returns with a solitary offering from Catch92.

Catch92 is from Manchester, England and specialises in lofi beats. He finds “solace in the Lofi, dusty and heavy looped sounds.” And there’s lots of that on this remix from Asta Hiroki (label founder for Folded Music). He’s an electronica/experimental hip hop producer and visual artist based in Brighton.

Wake is the track and it’s an inapposite name since mostly this is about hazy sleepiness. Hardly surprising then that Asta Hiroki says that “The first section of the arrangement I wanted to signify being in a dream with hazy elements floating in and out.” There’s a little far-off clicking and the odd piano chord but mostly there’s an electronic hiss and deep slow lofi beats. It’s all very much snuggled under the duvet of a Monday morning.

Eventually, almost uncomfortably there’s a wakefulness as the outside intrudes in and the melody steps out from the shadows. The electronic hiss subsides and the day starts. What a lovely track.