CharlestheFirst is an American producer based in California. His latest work “The Descent” is a dreamy hybrid track with soft bells and a compelling baseline that never stands still. The crackle of a fire and some soft synths start the track off until a solid back beat builds and continues to weave in melody and switch ups throughout that keep the track interesting for the entire four minute duration. The vocal sample is heavenly as well and really makes the track have a heavy emotional feel. While this is the first time Charles has caught our attention he certainly will be on our radar from here on out. His album “Running Through The Forest” comes out May 3rd.
AlunaGeorge are one of the most unique Pop acts out there due to their heavy reliance on Hip-Hop & Electronic influenced production. While Pop is quite a broad term that certainly doesn’t cover what they do at all, it applies because they are so genre blending and catchy that it’s the only thing you can call them without rattling off a list of five or six genres. Their hooks (which are written by their lead vocalist Aluna Francis) are caught in my head for days at a time such as the one featured in “My Blood” which is an energetic chant declaring that if you want Aluna’s “love” and “blood” you have to face her directly and confidently. The beat is a synth based, rolling hi-hat, trap masterpiece that paces the tense setting of the videos slow drowsy effects. These two are certainly as dynamic as they come and continue to push the sonic limits of Pop music.
When two of the hottest, most innovative names in the Hip-Hop field make a track together you HAVE to listen. As you may know Kaytranada is always making music that is just left of Hip-Hop’s normal sonic palette due to his heavy Electronic influences. This paired with Anderson .Paak’s soulful, retro, familiar flair makes for an absolute Goku & Vegeta level fusion. The video for “Glowed Up” which was directed by Bo Mirrosseni takes place in a smoke filled room where a party is taking place and .Paak appears on a throne holding a snake in-between being recorded on a VHS tape camera in the outdoors. At the 3:08 park the song and video switch up to a groovy drum break and .Paak’s vocals becoming noticeably sexier and smoother. Enjoy it above and stay tuned for Kaytranada’s project which will be here May 6th.
Savemoney alumni Dally Auston is back on his grind continuing his crews brand of colorful visually pleasing videos with “These Days”. While the video has an almost melancholy feel to it with the tinges of blue and purple melting the screen; the beat crafted by Jack Vegas ebbs and flows with a sporadic energy that Auston matches well with his confident delivery. Dally’s lyrics entail what it’s like to be in his shoes today and all the duties that come with being a young rapper but also a leader in his circle. His lyricism continues to level up and the dexterity of his delivery is quite impressive, he’s clearly got a lot of things figured out. View the video above.
“Aint no handouts where I’m from, they tie your hands up boa”
“Purple Magic” is a track that is certainly not restricted to any one genre. Rolling hi hat sections, sparse synths, & a pitched down vocal sample serve as the track’s main foundation, its anchor so to speak. But, from there all sorts of different sounds emerge from the patchwork to show us XELARAIN’s large sonic palette. I’m not quite sure what sort of mood “Purple Magic” is for because this song both energizes me and makes me feel tired. It’s sort of like doing codeine actually, maybe that’s why it’s called this? Regardless if you like music that is avante-garde & experimental in its nature this will be right up your alley. Oh and while you’re at it check out “High Pizza Guy” which is also quite a trip.
Skizzy Mars has become one of the most refreshing acts in Hip-Hop today, with a balance of technical ability, great beat selection, and depth to his words he is undeniable. Singer Phoebe Ryan hones in on the songs central theme in the chorus claiming that we as humans enjoy things that are often not very good for us. I can’t say I disagree.
The dreamy synth based melody and the sparse hi hats in the production along with Skizzy’s honest and introspective lyrics give the track a birds eye view feel. The listener is seeing a story basically from the perspective of a wiser self helping to reflect on ones own life and the things you need to change to become a better person. An applaudable and wise effort by Mr. Mars to take a step back and try to see the world from another angle; a little perspective could help us all.
“We know it’s bad for us,
But we Like it”
The beginning of Electric Joy Ride’s (commonly referred to EJR by fans) Soundcloud bio reads: “Come with me, on a journey through the galaxy of sound and lets experience happiness together”. A simple but solid mission statement that perfectly encapsulates their sound. EJR’s new song ‘Homeward’ is a trip on a falling meteor through the galaxy at light speed; the song in and of itself is a rave drug. The track is off their 2 song EP “Homeward/City Of Peace”, the second track ‘City Of Peace’ has a totally different feel to it but is still definitely worth giving a listen.
There’s not a lot thats quite as entrancing as a good melodic sample looped with some ice cool drums. “Back Then” is well named due to the nostalgic feel of the sample as well as the percussion which sounds like an old chopped up drum break. I could definitely keep it on repeat for hours.
Tomppabeats is from Finland and Smog is from Germany; the two linked up for this collaboration through the power of the internet as many musical partnerships do now. This European alliance is the true spirit of collaboration & partnership, two well respected artists in their own markets putting each other on to new audiences and horizons.
Shamana is a member of the internet music collective Eco Tapes. He combines Trap, Vaporwave, and video game sound effects (amongst many other things) in his music to really create a unique palate. Admittedly I might not have picked this track up if it wasn’t labeled as ‘Progressive Metal’ on Soundcloud but let that be a lesson in describing your music as accurately and creatively as possible because I could not have put it any better. The track certainly has a ‘no f***s given’ ethos that calls to mind a Young Thug but labeling the track as Trap just does not do it justice. From the Soulja Boy “Crank That” sample to the robotic sound effects that sound like they came from Stephen Hawking’s chair, to the beat that seemingly goes no where and everywhere at the same time, “UP GRADE” is a remorseless riot that throws traditional rules of arrangement and musical progression in the trash.
Smoking culture is quite prevalent in Hip-Hop; so when you’re talking about the almighty herb you better come correct. D. Graves is one of the better emcees in the Chicago area that has yet to become a household fixture… for now at least. Those who do know the emcee know that he is always on his stoner tip, a true connoisseur, the type of appeal that has made Wiz Khalifa, Currensy & countless others stars. On “Windows” Graves grabs Closed Sessions producer Boathouse to lace a beautifully hazy instrumental. The melancholy synths bring overcast skies to mind, presumably from the ashes & smoke condensing to create clouds. The hook is honestly quite catchy and Graves lyricism perfectly captures the mind of an overwhelmingly high person.
“Taking dabs that hit harder than jabs,
matter fact, this s**t hit like a left hook from Smokin’ Joe”
Anderson .Paak has this intonation in his voice when he sings that is not unlike the one you hear when listening to Stevie Wonder or The Isley Brothers that just oozes sex. After crooning the hook he stays hot in his verse with a sort of Rae Sremmend-esque flow in his rhythm that makes this throwback sounding beat sound brand new. “Room In Here” is not only A beautiful blend of old and modern R&B but is a Rap crossover as well featuring The Game who delivers one of the best verses i’ve heard from him in the past 5 years or so. Also to all producers who use drum breaks in their beats pay attention to how much of that mid-high end is filtered out, giving .Paak all the space he needs to steal the show. This might just be my favorite new song of the month.
Drishti is a sanskrit term for “a concentrated and focused gaze” according to Drishti beats’ Soundcloud. The focus level is certainly there for the charismatic but smooth track “Journey”.
Soft synth bells and a little beatboxing start the tracks forward motion, as it progresses the melody gets a little more complex and then finally the chorus section drops around the 1 minute mark that gets you into full on groove mode. One of those perfect instrumental tracks for throwing in a playlist to do homework to; it is relaxed but not lethargic, energetic but not fast paced. Stream above.