Of all the artists we’ve featured on The Up-Turn there are probably none that we’ve posted about of been following for longer than parisian producer Nvthlss. As a result I was starting to worry that I’d run out of things to write about him and consequently that his frequent releases were starting to blur together. Then my jaw dropped while listening to “A l’est de la gare” and stayed dropped for the remainder of his newest My paris.EP. With a quick seven tracks all titled in french, My paris.EP reminds me of all that reasons I got so excited about Nvthlss in the first place. It’s a gorgeous listen that should make anyone want to visit the Paris Nvthlss has been so inspired by. Although the US is the hip-hop Mecca, it’s nice to here Nvthlss turn towards his own culture to find inspiration and My paris.EP demonstrates just how unique his sound can be. The thirteen track Lifetime vol 2, continues his lifetime series with jazz-infused beatie goodness. Although I don’t think it achieves the same consistent greatness and My paris, Lifetime vol 2 is more proof of just how dedicated he is to his craft. After a few years I’m finally starting to understand that Nvthlss isn’t driven by a desire to achieve fame but out of a need to express himself through music.
Honestly, words won’t get me very far in trying to describe this new track from Howl which was premiered by the very cool dudes of Life is a Banana. How’s atmospheric? Yeah, doesn’t help much I guess. ”Forever” doesn’t allow itself to ever settle although it isn’t necessarily dynamic or constantly changing either. It’s almost like Howl captured the moment before an orchestra began playing, when all the instruments were tuning and slowed it down to a melodic pace. Well almost melodic. ”Forever” exists on a fringe between out-of-tune, off-beat and pure pop. It never quite reaches the full on glorious pop chorus that we know Howl could write, but the lack is almost more effective than the promise. It exists just long enough to make you appreciate it but not long enough to let you define it. Very tight, very tight.
A lot of promising beatmakers have come and faded since the time we’ve been covering Nvthlss and it was starting to look like Nvthlss would never fade but would be content to release new music at a dizzying pace. He’s constructed his own world of music without ever seeming to look back. His growth has been charted with a lot more zig-zags and left turns than anything traditionally linear. ”only me this time, this one is longer, very important for me,” Nvthlss explained upon sending us over a link. Nvthlss has an incredible back catalog of music to build from, Lifetime vol 1 seems to be his first time acknowledging his foundation. As a result, Lifetime vol 1 seems to be the most focused he’s been since EP6 (my personal favorite of his large collection) with the sounds more contained and traditionally hip-hop and jazz. Of course it’s all about the loop and Nvthlss weaves some gorgeousness here from the stuttering “Bill murray is the man” to the FlyLo-channeling “Brian II”. Things can definitely get weird (“Booker” or “Shout out”) but, as Nvthlss says himself, it’s all feelings.
If you’re at all familiar with the work of NVTHLSS, than F2i probably won’t be coming out of left field for you. If anything, NVTHLSS’ impressively sized catalog of beats and tapes are a demonstration of just how well an artist can define his own sound through constant recording, releasing and refining. F2i is not the solo material of NVTHLSS however, as the tape is the result of a collaboration with fellow french producer OVRDZ (no idea how to properly pronounce that name either sorry). Although the best I can do is speculate here, it does seem like OVRDZ has pushed NVTHLSS away from hip-hop influence and into deeper electronic territory. Although the percussion still hits mostly in the tune of boom-bap, none of these beats would provide stable ground for a rapper. Instead they are small meditations on warmth and repetition that revel in small moments of energy and inspiration.
This week has already been quite the amazing week for beats, however, no amazing beaties week would be complete without some new material from our favorite French beaties master Nvthlss. Snare autumn takes Nvthlss’ already chilled out style back another jazzy notch to make it more appropriate for the colder weather and windier days that the autumn is brining. Nvthlss even manages to take off some of the bite from Meek Mill and Rick Ross’ “Believe It”, flipping the brag filled affair into an introspective bumper that people could ride their bikes through the park too. Even the closing track “Bitches in the club” sound more appropriate for a campfire than a dance floor. Stream the entire release after the jump.
If you only know Dream Koala from his stunning guitar soundscapes, “Odyssey” is probably going to be a surprise for you. While “Odyssey” features the same meticulously crafted, gorgeously soothing guitar work we’ve come to expect, the real star of the song is Yndi’s vocal work. ”Odyssey” has Dream Koala himself stepping in front of the guitar haze and demonstrating that he’s actually an extremely confident vocalist and story teller. This is growth.