West Coast Swag from LA's Sol Beats

“Crush is meant to make you feel.”

A simple one line quote from 20 year old California beatmaker ‘Sol Beats’ about his latest chilled out offering entitled ‘Crush.’ Just like his description, the track is a simple and straight to the point, a vibe drenched synth-laced gem clocking in at just under 3 minutes.

But to think that Sol’s sounds are some kind of beginners luck you’d be kidding yourself. Despite his young age, the Californian has already been grinding at it for 6 years taking influence from Esta, Kaytranada, Taku, Mr. Carmack and more. It’s really just been within the past year that the budding beatmaker has started posting his work online, finally getting to the point where he is happy with how things are sounding.

And just how do Sol Beat’s productions sound? Well taking a browse through his soundcloud reveals beat heavy influences alongside touches of Rnb, hip-hop, trap and soul. Take a listen for yourself and I think you’ll quickly realize why we feelin’ it.

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Chilled out Naptime from California's Young Citrus

Creative inspiration can come from just about anywhere. Other musicians, childhood memories, nature or just a particular sample you can’t get out of your head.

For west coast beat producer ‘Young Citrus’ it’s often a certain sound or sample that he just knows he wants to work with or chop up. As Citrus explains about his recent release ‘sleep’ -
”I was really inspired by the piano sample - it's so chilled out and relaxing. Oftentimes, I turn to music when I need a break from the stresses of day to day living. It's honestly therapeutic.”

Young Citrus grew up listening to ‘The Album Leaf’ and ‘Nujabes’; their chilled out, peaceful sounds can be heard as a definite influence on his own productions today. Also working with sample based techniques, Citrus creates beat-heavy sound collages, layering chopped up clips with original riffs and basslines. For his latest track ‘sleep’, Citrus started with a sample and ran with it. “Once I heard the sample, I knew I wanted to chop it up and build around it. I added some drums, a bassline, and a wavy guitar with a bunch of reverb on it to give it a surf-rock inspired chill vibe.”

Grab this lofi siesta as a free download over on his Soundcloud

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Electronic and Acoustic worlds collide with California's - Doombird

In a time where we have analog elitists, gear lust and synths with hefty prices tags it’s refreshing to find a group of musicians that is focused on what really matters- the music.

Songwriter Kris Anaya and producer/arranger Joseph Davancens have been writing and performing as Doombird for a decade. In the last year Cory Phillips (bass), Ben Edrington (guitar), and Fernando Oliva (drums) have joined the band, anchoring the live performances. As a quintet, they create a hybrid of live instrumentation and electronic sounds, as evident on Past Lives (2016). With their newest EP, Twin Prime, Doombird continues to explore the tension between the analog and the digital.

What’s so special about the group is that they skillfully combine the strengths of acoustic, analog and digital instrumentation and production techniques so well. Think the fatness of analog synths, harmonic variance of acoustic instruments and the clean, precise sound of digital. The sonic palette they work with is truly diverse, throw on top of that the amalgamation of various genres and styles into their music, from electronica to indie, you’ve got the formula for a unique and exciting musical experience.

And that’s exactly how I’d describe their most recent release, The ‘Twin Prime EP’. 5 tracks of cleverly crafted indie, electronica, and post-rock that carry a variety of flavours throughout the album while remaining cohesive as a start to finish listen. The EP is really pushed to it’s full potential with an expertly tweaked mix full of colour and clarity from Bob Cheek (Band of Horses, Tera Melos, Chelsea Wolfe, Deftones, Two Sheds), and the final bit of polish applied by the mastering of Eric Broyhill (!!!, Chon).

Make your ears happy and go grab the EP on Bandcamp or stream it on Spotify

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Ambient IDM from Dutch duo- Tangent

Dutch production duo Ralph van Reijendam and Robbert Kok craft sonic journeys combining cutting-edge electronics with more traditional musical instruments. Always striving for the pinnacle of sound quality, Ralph and Robbert are constantly pushing their creative boundaries by exploring new and exciting ways of working with sound. 

Ralph van Reijendam graduated from HKU University of the Arts Utrecht with a Bachelor of Arts and Technology in 2007, specializing in post-production audio for film, animation and video games. Since graduating Ralph has worked as a sound designer, creating custom fx and atmospheres, and an audio/visual installation artist, creating live interactive environments utilizing custom built Max/MSP programs he designed himself. 

Robbert Kok, growing up playing in a number of metal bands throughout high school, eventually became the vocalist for the well known Dutch death metal band Disavowed. Active now for nearly two decades, Disavowed and Robbert's various live music experience has undoubtably lent itself well to his electronic projects as well.

Tangent is the hybridization of both Ralph and Robert's creative sensibilities and decades worth of technical musical experience. Lucky for us, the duo have a fresh new album entitled 'Approaching Complexity' slated for release Oct.5 on Oakland, California label N5MD. The opening track 'Confinement' is an 8 minute epic piece full of layered distortion, rich textures, and emotive pads. If this track is any sign of what the full album has in store we are certainly in for a treat!  

Pre-order 'Approaching Complexity' on vinyl, CD, or digital on the N5MD Bandcamp      

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LA producer Deru's blistering new track 'Torn in Two'

Benjamin Wynn, aka Deru, is an Emmy Award winning American composer, sound designer and music producer. Born and raised in Chicago, it was Wynn's early experiences with urban music and hip-hop that sparked his initial passion for production and sound design. It was the raw, rough sound of 90s hip hop that formed some of his earliest musical sensibilities, Ben stating "I loved the sonic quality of hip-hop, I loved how gritty it was, I loved the sound of hiss and record noise." Even to this day, many of these rough, organic elements that influenced him so many years ago can still be heard in his productions.

In the pursuit of further honing his sonic sensibilities, Wynn took to the west coast where he studied electronic music at the California Institute of the Arts. He focused on synthesis, signal processing, acoustics, music theory and composition, and earned a Bachelor's degree in music technology. Adding a well-rounded technical skillset to his ever growing passion for music and sound design was a key step in the young producer's music career. 

Over the next decade Wynn put these technical and creative skills to good use, releasing 4 albums under his electronic music 'Deru' alias as well as countless television, film and even ballet scores. Incorporating a unique mix of electronic and acoustic elements Ben states "I love the control over sound that electronic music provides, and I also love the sound of acoustic instruments and human players."

His forthcoming release 'Torn in Two' serves as a perfect example of this unique marriage of electronic and acoustic elements.  The album is a collection of microtonal pieces where the pitches were derived from acoustic instruments, and processed woodwind and brass recordings. Both represented new directions for Wynn, and the results are pieces that are more dynamic and full-spectrum than his previous body of work. 

The track 'Torn in Two' serves as the powerful album opener to the upcoming release. A dizzying array of slithering distortion set within a dissonant dystopia. Bone-crushing builds give way to moments of supreme sensitivity and delicateness. 

'Torn in Two' releases Oct .19th on LA label 'Friends of Friends' 
Pre-order the vinyl over here.

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