If plodding snare drums, lazy kick drums and un-quantized hi-hats are your jam then welcome Emune’s Auras into your music library. The boom bap specialist utilizes every piece in his drum kit. The nearly 11 minute beat tape has a lot of great moments. Lots of dark auras. The track “slip” is a haunting record featuring eerie clips saying, “dream,” and “in the heart or in the head.” It’s the kind of distorted mess that would play in a horror flick moments before some demonic character leaps into view. “lightmares” sounds like it could have been lifted from an ‘80s B-Movie. Solid sounds here, definitely worth copping here.
Portland, Oregon is known for a lot of things, namely: Being hipster as hell–spawning Fred Armistan’s sketch comedy show Portlandia. Also, having great donuts, tons of food carts and microbreweries. Overall, the city is known for being extremely progressive and diverse. Basically, Portland is great. Only in Portland would God Fears Aliens exist. The collective, God Fears Aliens, frequently shortened to GFA, features a number of producers and rappers who call the Northwest home.
The group has beats from Potholes In My Blog frequent Stacy and Modern Outfit’s snugsworth, among others. Delete is an ambitious 17-track release that stylistically jumps from Houston-style chopped and screwed to sampled boom-bap joints in an instant. The topic of conversation for the group remains consistent throughout: money, power, drugs and sexual conquest. Over heavy, trunk-rattling beats the confident bunch tell tales of how large they live. What they’ve put together is similar to early 2000s Houston hip-hop, but their home is nearly 2000 miles northwest of Codeine rap’s epicenter.
Honestly, I think you’ll either love this or hate it. You’ll love its beats, but despise its flippant attitudes. Or, you’ll engage with its voices, but wish the production was more consistent. Personally, I felt like I was listening to something alien, something new and different. It was shocking at first, but I liked that a lot and learned to love the album’s diversity. One thing this album is not short of is personality. If you’re looking for an great introduction to an emerging collective, give this one a listen.
“AQUARIUS” is a new sample heavy jam from young British producer YK. The spastic two-minute track plays out like a sped-up train ride–stuttering at stops along the way and then running at an incredible pace when it gets moving. The Brit typically crafts upbeat, dub sounds with a keen ear for adding percussive elements and manipulating vocal samples. “AQUARIUS” will appeal to folks who listen to Clams Casino as well as people with ears.
If you’re a fan of chopped up funk, samba and soul riffs with an electronic flair then Aaron Velasquez’s alter ego Flamingosis needs to be on your radar. The Dilla-inspired boom-bap producer often re-imagines classic hip-hop jawns and flips them into groovy, dancefloor bound renditions. Flamingosis’s latest beat “She Loved Me” is an upbeat rework of The Cyrkle’s “The Visit (She Was Here).“ Its guitar chops are tops and its driving drum loop is on point. You’ll want to peep this.
Practically anyone can make something complicated. It just took me 15+ steps to finish making this grilled cheese sandwich. (Which was delicious.) But, to make something complicated simple, that’s what separates good artists from great ones. Ziga Murko, a Slovenian “trombonist, composer, producer,” does this with his chill, organic beat “mr.Morti (himself).” [via] The track dips its feet in trip-hop, Nightmares On Wax territory, but stays very much in the realm of jazz music. This track isn’t much different than Jeremy Sutton’s ‘Mr. Morti’–an expression of self, raw and improvised. There’s a lot to like here, give this one a listen.
By: Belinda Cai
Honolulu’s MR•CARMACK is a true master of trap, a genre emerging from Southern hip-hop that features 808 drum machines, screwed samples, synthesizers, strings and an assortment of effects. “insomnity (again)” exhibits all of the most recognizable components of trap, with an experimental and unearthly edge. “insomnity (again)” and MR•CARMACK’s other tracks are ideal to both dance to or chill out to, depending on the listener’s mood.
MR•CARMACK knows how to build delightful, synth-y and stirring tension with “insomnity (again).” The vocal sample cooing, “Where are you going now?” is otherworldly and sublime, easy on the ears in contrast to the progressively noisy industrial clatter happening in the background. After the initial bubble of suspense, MR•CARMACK releases the build with a climactic drop at about a minute in; this instantly and irrevocably hooks the listener.
By: Belinda Cai
Kenja is SoCal fresh, producing music that is reminiscent of an evening drive down Pacific Coast Highway—peaceful and chill yet exhilarating. The drive then turns into a night out in downtown Los Angeles full of blurry lights, colorful glimpses and good vibes. It is pure electronica at its finest, interlacing addicting beats with ambient samples.
The free download, “Tryna See” is a prime example of a track jam-packed with electro beats. It has a drum loop complete with intermittent clicking and spacey sound effects. The song is comparable to taking a nighttime walk along the beach and gazing up at an endless maze of stars. “It’s like we’ve all just woken up one morning. Is it a dream? Is it a nightmare? What’s been going on? We’re all just trying to make the next day a bit better.”