For anyone who has been following and digging the rebirth of American emo and lo-fi, meet Jackie Trash. Their wow so sad EP is going to fit right alongside other bandcamp gems like contron and elvis depressedly. It is four tracks in under 10 minutes that are as sweetly too the point and brutally honest as I’d expect from a group that takes grainy photographs in graveyards. Highlight, “sleepy cat” distinguishes Jackie Trash from other lo-fi/emo acts with it’s sense of direction. ”wasting time, in bed too” goes the opening line before sprawling into a more distressed tale of suburban malaise. The track comes to a proper close at around 1:30 only for the guitar to fade back into the forefront of the track keeping the good suburbs vibes alive for an extra minute. For such a short track is packs a surprising amount of effortless depth. Stuff like this can only come naturally.
Considering his more experimental turn in music making recently, I was unsure of whether Hanz would return to making the amazing hip-hop beats that Chris Villa struts over so well. It’s been a while, but the pope and Hanz are back working together and the result is the mature and fine tuned “Deaf Check 3″. While “Deaf Check 3″ is easily one of the most precisely orchestrated hip-hop beats Hanz has put together, it is anything but restrained. Instead, we find a calm, cool and collected Chris Villa threatening cops and riding through his city with the kind of laid back perspective of an elder statesman of hip-hop. It’s amazing hearing Chris Villa sound so confident and comfortable over the abstract beat and it only has me more excited than ever for the return of Hanz and Chris Villa working together.
After spotting the sun-soaked collage artwork for Zoo Brother’s latest single “Fourth of July” I couldn’t imagine the song sounding any other way. The track opens with the fitting crackle of fireworks before exploding into exuberan, celebratory and non-discernible chanting of singer William Karmis. The track is propelled by a cheerfully sloppy drum section and a looped tropical-leaning guitar line that give the track a sense of brevity and lightness. The track dissolves into summer heat far too soon but it’s fine as long as I can keep hitting replay.
DooF and KVZE have always sounded great together but they have never sounded this effortlessly brilliant. ”kwazars” isn’t so much a track that is meant to show off DooF’s rhymes or even KVZE’s impressive production style as much as it proves how well these two artists work together in creating a great sound. DooF could easily draw comparisons to MF DOOM or Earl on this track but he is content to me much less commanding then either of those two MCs. DooF allows his words to become submerged in the gorgeous synth-laden beat despite never wasting a bar. It invites you to listen again and again and maybe a bunch of times.
Although Libson-based Tropical Tobacco aren’t exactly the most prolific band out there, every they release a new track I realize I’m happy that they’re moving at their own blissfully slow pace. The band still hasn’t pushed their own image much past warm photos of tropical foliage but I’m cool with that too, “Sadie” blooms just as naturally as the flowers that appear in the artwork. Flowering from reverb-soaked synths and bass, “Sadie” has Tropical Tobacco sounding like a Washed Out who was relocated to the caribbean. That’s not to say that “Sadie” is an uninspired derivative of chillwave however, as Tropical Tobacco include enough sonic diversity and dynamics to prove they have songwriting chops to show off behind the reverb.
Woah. After reducing his sound down to bare minimum and then deconstructing pop sounds, Hanz has actually put out a track that could almost be described as straightforward… almost. On “Capsule”, Hanz explores the understated side of UK dubstep and bass-music while retaining his unique penchant for huge sounds coming from minimal production. Imagine wiping away the midnight romanticism from Untrue. ”Capsule” revels in the hard-edged grit of a nighttime urban landscape. Dear Hanz, keep doing you. I will follow you wherever you go.
It’s been far too long since we’ve heard new Kal (whether it’s been as Sidewalk Kal, Kal Pacino or Kal the God) and even longer since we’ve heard Kal and CT beatsmith Color Plus team up on a joint. ”P A R A N O I D” demonstrates that Kal hasn’t been slacking off but has been maturing and sharpening his craft. The track opens up with Kal rocking a near SPACEGHOSTPURRP like flow over Color Plus’ hypnotizing, narcotic-laced beat before opening up into a verse that is distinctively all his own. ”P A R A N O I D” features some of Kal’s best overdubbing (something he’s always been great at) with multiple tracks working together to create a multilayered and emotive verse. It’s clear that when “P A R A N O I D” comes to it’s quick stop by the end of the track that Kal doesn’t always need to say it directly to remind us that he’s a rap god.