Jakspin consults the heavens for new EP series 'Zodiax'

German producer Jakspin harnesses the power of the stars for the first of four EPs entitled ‘Zodiax’. The release series focuses on ancient knowledge presented through the 4 basic elements alongside traditional aspects of astrology. The first instalment of the series entitled ‘Zodiax I’ takes pisces, cancer, scorpio and their common element of water and boils them all down into easily digestible lofi landscapes.

Featuring not only a well-thought out cohesive concept but also some tightly-knit sonic terrain, ‘Zodiax I’ cruises through a series of 4 tracks, each with their own unique shimmer and shine. Water, being the unifying element, seems an appropriate opener to the album and serves as a firmly rooted beat amid layers of well-crafted distortion and melodies. ‘Pisces’ then continues the interstellar experience with a steady foundation of low frequencies set against a backdrop of bubbling aqua and gently placed textures. ‘Scorpio’ finally concludes the orbital journey with a thumping beat next to floaty xylophone notes tied together with an overall air of repose.

You don’t have to be an astrological expert to know that the future of this series brings nothing but solid listening and good vibes.

Check your horoscope with Jakspin:
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Less is more with Sweden's lesspoint

With the seemingly limitless possibilities of today’s DAW’s it’s easy to understand how the modern producer can become bogged down by options. Endless samples, routing options and sound design possibilities can be both liberating and overwhelming at the same time. Despite all the technology in music production today, it really all just comes back to what matters most which is the music.

Enter 20 year old Swedish beat producer- lesspoint. The Computer Science major explains that when he’s not studying, “in my free time I make beats.” Originally learning from online tutorials and making house music, lesspoint describes his recent shift in tastes: “My love for chill/downtempo/hip-hop beats has been growing a lot over the last few years, some of my biggest influencers right now are Freddie Joachim, DJ Grumble, Ian Ewing and Quickly, Quickly.”

Despite his humble attitude, lesspoint’s productions are uncluttered and well-crafted dream pieces that sit perfectly on a chillout playlist or as background study music. His recent track ‘thepoint’ fits this description perfectly featuring crunchy drums, floaty pads, and chopped up samples, and is just the thing to toss on when in need of some decompression. lesspoint describes his production mindset - “When I made this beat I tried to make a beat that you can listen to whenever, something that can be played without interrupting your thoughts, maybe I am unconsciously making my own study music.”

With beats like this who needs study breaks?

Hit the books with lesspoint
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Laid back vibes from lofi producer- radicule

Straight from New York to your eardrums, 22 year old beat producer radicule cooks up well seasoned tracks with the right amount of dust and definition. With a taste beyond his years, radicule references old anime, 90s cartoons and classic video game tracks resulting in a hazy lofi sound that feels more like it belongs in a walkman than an mp3.

Fortunately for us, that lofi analog touch is now available through the beat compilation ‘Seasonal Sounds 5: Fall’ courtesy of Boston label - Dust Collectors. The compilation features 44 tracks of headnodding beats to pop in your cassette player and float away to. Expect a start-to-finish mix of diverse beats, nostalgic samples, and faded soundscapes.

Get your chill on and grab it on Bandcamp

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Lush Lofi from Kurt Stewart and Tomcbumpz

As contemporary music pioneer Brian Eno once said “Every collaboration helps you grow”. Whether it be the combination of different musical skillsets, production techniques or the sharing of unique ideas, theres no denying the fact that working with other artists or musicians can be incredibly beneficial for the creative process.

Technology and the internet have made these collaborative undertakings that much easier with creatives sharing ideas from across the globe.

Although this particular collab is a bit closer to home, the results are none the less impressive.

Kurt Stewart is a young up and coming producer from Burlington, Vermont and Tomcbumpz is an established name in the beatmaking community hailing from Long Island, New York. The two join forces for an ultra chill excursion entitled ‘Headrush.’

It might be the crispness of autumn, or the waveyness of the great lakes, but something is up in the Eastern United States! The track features a rough-edged beat accented by the falling keys of a dreamy Rhodes. It’s an infectious headnodder, that would be the perfect soundtrack for an afternoon spent strolling under the fall colours.

Stay tuned for more laid back beats from Kurt Stewart
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Denmark's iamalex brings the summer vibes

For most of us outside of the southern hemisphere, this time of year brings shorter days, cooler weather and dark thoughts creeping in the psyche. Although I've never visited northern Europe in fall or winter to attest to such things, (although hailing from Canada, I think I can relate) I can imagine the Danish may need a few things to remind them that summer is a state of mind; that warm, relaxing, chilled out days are not really that far away.

Enter Soundplate Record's iamalex. Our featured track above, “Tell Me” is a lo-fi, summer sizzler from the get go. It's a sweet little instrumental hip hop tune that breezes by. “Tell Me” is also the first tune of four, from Alex's upcoming self-titled EP.

"Tell me" will leave you California Dreamin' on such a winter's day. While just over 2 minutes in length, this track has a definite old school feel; it’s comprised of semi-phat bass lines, a cool jazz breakdown, guitar tinges and RnB vocals. It’s the perfect tune to get you in the mood for a mellow evening or leisurely morning, free of stress and worry.

If you dig the vibes of our sample track, iamalex has just dropped a cassette release with his homie Bonus Points, that is similarly chilled out and tightly produced. With track names like “Coastal Breeze”, “Time Off” and “Ice Macchiato”, you can see the vibe Alex is going for. As the cool months linger on, the world needs warm coastal beats like the kind iamalex produces. Join me in eager anticipation for the full EP to drop in the next month or so and show your appreciation for iamalex on the following platforms:

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Smooth jazzy beats from Bristol's Natty Reeves

Music can be so many things for different people. A way to escape, heal, refresh, reflect and even forget. British producer/songwriter- Natty Reeves deals with many of these themes throughout his discography, in a no-nonsense approach that focuses on quality and authenticity above all else.

A talented multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Reeves often relies on his quiver of guitars and live vocal takes to form much of the foundation for his tracks.

However his recent release ‘Bill’s Launderette’ moves in a slightly different direction, forgoing the vocals for a smooth, soulful collaboration alongside beat producer and keyboardist- Marnix.
The track is 2 and a half minutes of chilled out guitar, floating keys and a rolling, head-nodding beat. The two musicians take touches of soul, hip-hop and jazz and set it on the spin cycle for a memorable collaboration.

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Lush downtempo from Japanese producer- KEET

KEET is a Japanese artist, designer and producer who crafts chilled out, downtempo beats. Previously studying music theory and jazz piano, he was attracted to beatmaking and electronic music for it's limitless sonic potential and creative flexibility. 

In addition to his audio prowess and crisp beats, KEET also designs his own cover art. He designs both the audio and visual designs in parallel, so as to compliment one another and serve as a singular cohesive package. 

His recent track 'Told you so' is a fresh twilight drive along the Japanese coast. A 5 minute journey through falling keys, cascading vocals and gently lapping guitar fading into the distance. 

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Lush Lofi from Misc. Inc and Leavv

Based in Dresden, Germany Misc. Inc creates dreamy, chilled out soundscapes perfect for studying, reflecting or relaxing. Starting out making beats in 2012, the young producer took cues from some of his favourite lofi artists such as bsd.u, Tycho, and Jinsang. Now, 6 years later, Misc displays a complexity and confidence in his music well beyond his years. 

The Misc. Inc sound combines organic, soulful elements with crisp sound design and groove-infused, infectious beats. Never one to settle within a comfortable niche, Marc is always striving to improve his sound and broaden his horizons. This pursuit often leads him to new, exciting collaborations resulting in music that is more than the sum of its parts. 

His Oblivion EP is a great example of this collaborative approach. Joined by fellow countryman, Leavv, the 2-track release features dusty chords, soothing rhythms and organic atmospheres. 

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