Last night Terence and I ventured out to our hipster haven in Brooklyn to meet up with the cool dudes Sidewalk Kal and Ghost Row who both gave amazing performances in an amazingly cramped space. Even though their set hardly lasted over 20 minutes, with Kal only jumping in for a few, they reminded proved there is a lot more to their talent than their lush performances. Kal has some serious gold coming through soon with a mixtape with Mattron dropping later this year. Whether dropping a few quick verses in a dude’s apartment infront of a crowd of sweaty hipsters or confidently striding over a minute of Mattron’s lush production, Kal never disappoints.
Cadence Collective just dropped an awesome sampler compilation, and it happened to feature a track from CT homies Ghost Row. Ghost Row, once again, show incredibly good chemistry with this track. Color Plus puts together an absurdly smooth beat driven by gorgeous guitar strummings, and Chef lays down some of his most effortless-sounding verses yet, with perfect flow and tasteful wordplay. ”Cranberry Octave” is an awesome reminder of how DIY rap can rival and surpass the work of artists with lots of resources. Keep an eye on Ghost Row in the future because if they keep putting together tracks this great people are bound to take notice.
CT homie and incredibly talented producer Color Plus just released this track a few days ago. ”Pulp” shows Color Plus beginning to experiment with house styles, and doing so with ease. Driven by a very house-sounding organ chord progression, this track switches between classic four-on-the-floor house drums and the more hip-hop influenced percussion which Color Plus is known for without missing a step. Every day I see more and more electronic producers bringing house elements into their production, but few have executed it as perfectly as Color Plus has with this track.
Its been a while since Color Plus released his last EP, Cerulean Dream, and since then he has been up to a number of different things, releasing two EP’s with Chef the Chef under the name Ghost Row. For most of the songs for Ghost Row, Color Plus toned down the thick ambience and airy nature of his solo music, but now on Key Lime, it is back in full force. His production style is just as distinctive as ever, stretching out vocal samples in a number of different ways to form gorgeous backdrops with extremely well produced drums over them. Although Color Plus’ choice in drum sounds can often draw many connections to trap music, his production style as a whole completely transcends the genre in an extremely impressive way that I can’t think of many producers who are capable of. Stream one of my favorite tracks off of the EP below, and the whole thing after the jump.
AceMo’s sound has gone a lot of different places over the past few months, sometimes ambient and other times more conventional but every track he has released has been moving towards this wonderfully organic sound. On “LEIS”, the first single off of AceMo’s upcoming project, Borders, the CT producer marries a bunch of different sounds together, each with its own layer of tapedeck fuzz, into a collage that fits together perfectly. Although chopped samples and synthesizers don’t occur in nature, somehow this track sounds completely natural like it could have existed long before computers did. It’s been almost a year since AceMo released his last project, so “LEIS” has me extremely excited to hear how Borders turns out.
Recently, Spencer Fox (the dude behind Slates and a contributor to our website) sent over a lot of music from SUNY bands he thought we should check out. Although we’re still getting around to listening to all the great music (there’s a lot of good stuff), High Pop stuck out to me as an instant standout. Hailing from our great and surprisingly filled with more great music than we ever though home state of Connecticut, High Pop are a group of friends making indie rock that is bursting with creativity and influences. Last summer, the group put out the fantastic Hip Hip Hooray LP which strikes at the same nostalgically grungy and emotive sound that has been coming from a lot of great bands lately. Tracks like “‘loner” mix sweet vocal harmonies with heavily distorted guitars like You’re Living All Over Me-era Dinosaur Jr. while tracks like “i wanna run with you” and “oh no” are perfectly out of tune skate punk rockers that references more recent acts like Wavves. By the end of the LP, High Pop sound less like a band trying to create music in the shadow of established indie rockers and more like kids with a lot of ideas and enough talent to make those ideas into amazing music.
Just a little over a month after releasing his 19 track, experimental R&B filled Ten Thousand Thunders EP, Connecticut’s own Body Cheetah is blessing us with a new EP. Finger Pricks EP manages to be more experimental than the admittedly oddball Ten Thousand Thunders EP while also being more concise, memorable and distinctly his own. The biggest change on Finger Pricks is the addition of guitar on some tracks. With his falsetto croon and guitar picking, moments on Finger Pricks such as the opener “Africanized” sound indebted to Bon Iver. However, Body Cheetah still adds his own R&B-tinged flair to the material and the results end up sounding like a How to Dress Well and Bon Iver collaboration… just a lot better than that collaboration would undoubtedly be. Stream my favorite tracks below and the entire EP after the jump.