Heart Eyes – Girly

“I started working on Girly in spring of this year. I made the first track, “Lady,” and the last track, “Closing the dragon,” on the same day and knew immediately they’d be sorta the bookends for the album. With those two tracks set, one of my next steps to fill in the gaps was to finish “Citrus,” which had been in the works for about a year, through various demos. (One version was released on the Z Tapes Spring 2018 compilation) I switched the tuning to standard and re-recorded everything and programmed some new drums. A lot of the percussion samples I used for Girly were just one shot samples of like claps and me hitting stuff which I recorded to tape and then edited and arranged to make all the beats. I spent the summer working on the songs and obsessing over them. I was walking dogs for people quite a bit during this time and I fondly remember this one day when I was walking with a yellow lab and listening to an early version of “June bug interlude (feat. Jack)” on repeat. Times like that were actually a special part of my process. Girly was finished in September and Conor Ellis mastered it.

I knew from the beginning I wanted to have the album released on cassette tapes, and deadplant records was down to do it. I’m hyped to work with them, the tapes are gonna look so sweet too. The cover photo was taken by my pal, Adrian. A bunch of us went to visit New York over the summer and that photo of me was taken in our airbnb when the sun was going down and we were all getting lit and what have you. My gf, Charlynn, helped me with the j card design by writing the tracklist and stuff on her ipad. Her handwriting is so pretty. Ashley (who did the cover art for my last EP) found the perfect picture of a frog to use for the inner j card, too. Having a frog somewhere on there was an absolute must for me.

Girly is a special project to me because it has everything I like about my music and then some. I’ve become more open to collaborating, and asking for help. It can be really fun to let your friends be part of your super personal, weird, cathartic process. I hope people like listening to it. <3″ – Heart Eyes

Z Tapes Spring 2018

deadplant records

last EP

Kai Whiston – Kai Whiston Bitch

“i spent two years making this shit because i couldn’t find it anywhere else. there’s been some fucking masochistic level work done to every fine detail so it feels real good that people are hearing it now. please let it be known that everything i touch turns to fucking gold.” – Kai Whiston

 

a place both wonderful and strange – What I Speak I Create

There is some powerful witchcraft at play on this album. While tonally it is dark and at times brooding, there is great strength to be found. What I Speak I Create is truly one of the most boundary-pushing and cathartic projects to come out of New York this year.

Ynfynyt Scroll – Summer Mixtape ’17

Straight out of Bogota, Columbian producer Ynfynyt Scroll’s Summer Mixtape ’17 is a collection of bootlegs, remixes, and originals that touch upon a number of genres; some reggaeton here, some cumbia there, and more. Pour yourself a shot of aguardiente, press play, and get turned up to this Ynfynyt Scroll tape—it’s the perfect soundtrack to hot July nights.

Download the project via Bandcamp.

cory grindberg – uma


Subtle sounds weaving in and out of cory grindberg’s newest project “uma” make it especially stand out. The live instruments add an awesome element to the track, creating a sort of latin flare that makes the drop even more powerful. More often than not, electronic producers tend to shy away from including anything other than synthesizers. Instead, cory grindberg instead embraces the nuances and subtitles of the live music experience.

Neonpajamas – Sleep Vol. 1

To celebrate his label announcement, Neonpajamas put together Sleep Vol. 1. This producer-driven project is the first of an ongoing compilation based around sleep. The ambient electronic synths kneading in and out of the back beat produces a placid vibe, perfect for chilling out on a rainy day. The smooth transition to “Kind of Existing” by Alone Time especially stood out to me. There’s a certain kind of existential feel that the producer creates with this song that I’m really digging. Play this LP when you’re drifting off the dreamland, I guarantee it will help you catch some zzz’s.

Plastic – Plastic


Article by Chuck Trash
Since around 2012, there have been a handful of punk bands who have successfully reached listeners beyond punk’s cult following, propelling the scene into the cultural limelight once again. Here in Chicago we are lucky to provide a home to many of these bands.

Just off the heels of their first self-titled LP, Plastic is developing into a notably versatile ensemble. While it would be easy to pigeonhole the band in with other punk outfits across the nation, Plastic executes synth-punk even better than many of the bands that pioneered the sub-genre.  The trio is comprised of Blake (bass/vocals), Macklin (Drums/vocals) & Ariel (Synth). Currently, they take influence from synth-heavy and industrial bands from the 70’s adding in touches from the ominous, harsh noise scene coupling that with the fast-paced head bang of punk rock.

Normally, bands without guitar are quickly criticized, despite rock n’ roll sub-genres. At times across this record, it can be difficult to figure out what instrument is driving the band. Ariel has mastered the dark tone of their synthesizer, likely the most adaptable instrument in the band. Something gloomy drives every measure backed by the synth, creating a defining sound for the entire album. The vocals, which are mixed better than any other punk album in recent memory, often echo the synth in a cloud of malcontent. Please don’t be misled, though brooding at times this band is angry on every track, even in the way Macklin beats his snare. Every note is charged with frenetic energy.

The stand out track on this record is likely “A Good Laugh”. Starting off with just a triplet on the snare, the song slowly builds into an impeccably structured punk rock ballad. The vocals  don’t kick in on the track until well after one minute, and the song is essentially about being pissed off and being laughed at. Like many great punk songs before it, “A Good Laugh” is full of angst and uncomfortable memories, with a chorus of maniacal laughter as a kicker. The most unexpected track on the album is the instrumental noise track lasting just over a minute and a half. “A Call for Help” is both ambient and calming, even with the spooky synth tones pushing the track into a kind of ambience. This short composition falls right in the middle of the album and feels like the perfect intermission.

With a sound somewhere in between the Rezidents, early Cabaret Voltaire & DEVO, the Plastic (LP) sounds as though it came almost from the late 70’s. Though the sound is classic there are many song components that sound unlike any of their punk predecessor.

faug – What If We Were One?

faug is just 2 dudes and 1 vape pen. But it’s actually not just THAT, it’s a band that blends jazz/production/post-rock into an original and extremely palatable sound. Their debut record is called “What If We Were One?” and features Stu Pender on guitar & production and Darien Williams on drums & vocals. In a time where things seem more fragmented and people more suspicious of each other than ever, Stu and Darien wanted to pull their many influences into a sound to recant the growing fear being pushed onto our future.

Killavesi – Run & Hide


Article by Chuck Trash

With Killavesi’s latest project, “Run & Hide”, she has shown tremendous progression in the way that she delivers every line, piquing even the most ambivalent rap fan’s interest. It would be simple-minded to lump this tape in with the general ‘internet’ fad rap, as Killavesi finesses her way through countless styles throughout each track. Her timing and delivery is nothing short of impeccable, and her topical range and incredible beat selection will help her stand out amongst other internet rappers.

From the opening title track, Vesi sets an emotional, yet confident swag to compliment the tone of the rest of the tape. On tracks like “Rainy”, her flow echoes internet pioneers like Lil’ B, with a lazy delivery but catchy flow that contradicts the monotone sound. The tape is primarily produced by Norwegian artist hi tom of the Rytmeklubben collective and uses heavy 808’s and a subtle catchy synths over which Killavesi raps with an effortless and nonchalant execution.

While her flow sounds easily imitated, it would be tough to imagine many rappers pulling off the laid back brag that she flawlessly tackles. There is something that is extremely pleasing about hearing a rapper rhyme about clichés such as money, sex and violence in a tone that completely contradicts the content in every verse. There are definitely consistencies in this record that parallel an overwhelming amount of rap that has dropped in the past 5 years, but her voice and delivery are what makes her stand out amongst the myriad rappers cropping up on Band Camp and Soundcloud.

Not all of the lyrics on “Run & Hide” revolve around Vesi as an alpha-rapper. Like many rappers who have established a name for themselves as ‘trap’ artists (i.e. Future, Chief Keef), Killavesi also illustrates a sensitive and emotional side of herself throughout many of the tracks throughout this tape. For example, on “Make U Cry”, the evocative hook pines ‘please forget what I said/I never meant to make you cry”, revealing a layer of vulnerability and humanity under her ultra-swag exterior.

While most of this tape is produced by hi-tom, she still went out of her way to pick beats from a variety of producers that all meshed surprisingly well, helping produce a cohesive, dark, and thematic sound for the album. By picking beats that make sense side by side, she gave herself room to experiment with her flow over production, and the experimentation paid off in full.

Right now, Killavesi is touring Europe for the first time, along side Adamn Killa, another rising rapper out of Chicago. While her sound is not exactly like the majority of other popular Chicago rap, it makes sense that she is in Europe. Yes, young Killavesi hails from Chicago, but her music is already internationally acclaimed.

Narco Reus – Martin Tyler Music

After his instrumental flips began to gain some notoriety on the quickly growing, essential CinemaxAnime twitter account, producer Narco Reus has returned with a new footy-themed remix project featuring reworks of a myriad of artists, everyone from Jay-Z to Waka Flocka. Check it out below.

 

 

Chance x Jeremiah – Merry Christmas Lil’ Mama

YAY! This present came early!

Everything Chance has touched this year has turned to gold. No difference here.

Using familiar tunes paired with relevant words, Chance and Jeremiah have given Christmas music a makeover and set a new bar for what it means to release a Christmas album.

Make sure to peep I’m Your Santa. It’s one for the steppers 🙂

Yung Lean – Frost God

It’s been a little while since we’ve heard from Yung Lean but it seems that he has been hiding away inside of the studio and maturing greatly. With the holidays upon us, Yung Lean decided to drop an early present. Unfortuntely it’s not Louis Vuitton bags filled with drugs, we will not complain. Last night he took to the internet and dropped a surprised album titled Frost God without any sort of promotion a la Beyoncé.

While the tape itself is not very long, coming in at only 25 minutes, there are a handful of features sprinkled throughout. My personal favorite, “Hennessy & Sailor Moon” is blessed with a Bladee feature; Adam Killa appears on “Cashin” and Yung Lean recruits A$AP Ferg for “Crystal City”.

Throughout the entire tape you can hear that this may be one of Yung Lean’s most mature sounding pieces of work so far in his career. You are given subtle warnings that Yung Lean is coming back stronger, healthier, and he’s not stopping anytime soon. It’s only been about a year since he was released from a mental hospital but now he’s riding around in a Range Rover with two crack heads, he’s flexed up, cashed up, and still continuing to get his bands up. Stream the entire tape below.