Ain’t Nobody Fucking With My Clique, Vol 8: Svengali Label

Chicago hip-hop has been on a run lately. Artists like Chief Keef and Chano have put our city in the spotlight; for dedicated music fans with an eye on what’s happening locally, it’s been an absolute fucking joy. In fact, it has been such a joy that I started taking undue credit for this type of stuff in front of my friends from LA, Atlanta and New York. Unsatisfied with “our” hold on just one genre, I began looking for examples of :fire: hot :fire: local electronic labels and trends. One of the first ones that I came to was Svengali.

This immediately complicated my mission since 1) Svengali Label has nowhere near the profile of something like the Drill scene or even SAVEMONEY and 2) it’s a stretch to call them Chicago-based. Representing a disparate group of locals and SoCal transplants, the artists on Svengali flex influences from across the country; however, they are probably most indebted to colleagues and contemporaries on SoundCloud. So thank you, Svengali, for helping me to realize that regionalism is absolutely dumb and petty — all the best people readily identify themselves as citizens of the Internet anyways.

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Different Sleep, like most good things on the Internet, first came to my attention through something someone said on Twitter.

It was 2012 and I’m pretty sure Flosstradamus was pushing that song. This confused me since Floss staked their reputation on being so loud that  they were banned from playing in Chicago that year. Different Sleep, on the other hand, seemed like drowsy time, tailor-made for Majestic Casual music.

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That is of course, a horribly reductive way of discussing his output since then. Most recently, the Infinite EP maintains a dreamy ethereal quality while bearing some more kinetic dance music influences.

Soleman, who Different Sleep paired with on “Drive Me Crazy”, has been a bit less active as of recent. None of that matters though, because this Tink remix from last month is absolutely massive.

If I had to make a sweeping generalization here I’d say that, in general, Soleman’s stuff bangs with some heavier hip-hop sounds compared to labelmates like Mister Lies, whose music takes the supreme :snowflake: chillness :snowflake: of Different Sleep and turns it down towards catatonic levels. His latest, Mowgli, is like an exercise in sonic meditation and Ambien experimentation.

And finally, the confusingly named Svengali is, if anything, the most prolific producer on the team. After spending 2013 collaborating with the homie Maurice and playing vaporwave remix master to the pop music Illuminati, he blessed us with the label’s first full release of 2014.

Nacimiento represents a solid start to 2014 for Svengali, the artist and the label. Keep and ear out as the year progresses and if you like what you heard so far, be sure check out Svengali Label on TumblrTwitter, and Facebook.

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