There isn’t much on the Internet about London producer/DJ Stray. Yet Johnathan Fogel, Stray, has a fairly good collection of music out for the worlds listening pleasure. The young producer let’s the music speak for itself and why would he do it any other way? His mind-touching blend of soul, trip-hop, and electronic music is as much an old head’s dream as it is a progressive one.
Recently, I was turned onto Stray while looking for something I could listen to while reading. At first, I passed up Stray’s music for such a duty because of it’s rather lyric heavy make up. However, I resorted back after finding nothing to fit my exact preference. I wasn’t disappointed. “Since Been Gone” is Stray’s latest official project release since his “Chatterbox EP” came out 6 months ago. In the projects description on Soundcloud, Stray stated the mixtape is “full of tracks that never got released” and “wanted to draw a line under this material before setting out to record a debut ‘LP’.” The 11 track project varies in sound across the board, with some very stoic sounding tracks as well as some more traditional trip-hop/soul type beats with some recognizable samples here and there.
The project’s title song “Since You’ve Been Gone” is my favorite on the mixtape, blending an easy break beat with powerful vocals. Though one of the softer tracks on the tape, “Since You’ve Been Gone” sets a great mood and allows it to grow and build beautifully. In the opposite sense, the next track on the project “Tonight” takes things quickly into full rotation. With a much more upbeat feel, “Tonight is much more disco while maintaining the true essence of Stray’s hip-hop root. The last track on the project, “Hey Ya!” is a straight 70’s rock song with a RNB twist, mixing stadium guitar riffs and drums with spine tingling soul vocals. A monumental end to a wild arrangement of different types of music.
Be on the look out for a debut LP coming from Stray and check out his Soundcloud for more mixes, tracks, and remixes if “Since You’ve Been Gone” rubs you the right way.