Red The Chef does lofi a little different on 'Is This It?'

It would be easy to throw Connecticut producer Red The Chef’s latest EP into the catch-all “lo-fi hip hop beats to chill/study to” bin, because it certainly fits the aesthetic. But that listening environment, of filling the background with something to keep your mind on anything but the music itself, tends to mute subtleties and flatten differentiation. Yes, the beats on this EP, titled ‘Is This It?’, have the same warm, vintage processing that has come to define the genre, and yes the melodic samples are fuzzy and pitched around in the same way, but there are also elements that are squarely Red’s. Most notably, his tendency to drench every element in dreamy reverb creates a unique space for the tracks to sit in, as well as the presence of detuned acoustic instruments that float in and out of each track. The effect is something like listening to music blasted distantly in the park on a warm summer day, instilling a feeling of limitless boundaries, inspiring those nights of aimless exploration. It’s liberating to move about without knowing where you’re going, and this EP might just be the perfect soundtrack to make it happen.

Stream the title track ‘Is This It?’ above, and hop over to Spotify to hear the full EP.

— review by autonomy

Keep up with Red The Chef
Spotify
YouTube
Instagram

Sample, soul, sincerity in Anthony Bailey's 'Don't want you to go'.

We covered a release from Anthony for his ‘Maelstrom of Thoughts’ Ep back in February when we talked about higher values within a hip-hop collective and how Bailey distanced himself from the lime-light instead always putting his peers front and centre stage. Not much has changed in that regard where you will still find blank bio’s on all of his socials and music platforms which is extremely refreshing. Remember the days when there was such a thing as mystery/privacy! When all you got was a few random interviews and some accompanying stills. In an age where all abstruseness can be banished with one click it’s gratifying to see an artist still holding it down and applying a rare, ethical code to his craft. 

Speaking of craft ‘Don’t want you to go’ is a track built entirely around a vocal hook that is unapologetically omnipresent throughout, showing a reverence for sample flare and technique. What this creates is something nostalgic, warm and sincere while being celebratory about the trade of hip-hop. Perfect summer, lo-fi listening. 

Catch more from Anthony here: Apple Music, Spotify, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram

London's Sleepless finds his Flow state

Enigmatic Jazzy beat producer ‘Sleepless’ swings through the blog once again following up last years release of his album Serene.

And it’s no wonder he keeps popping up on countless blogs, channels and playlists; his sound, aesthetic and consistency in crafting infectious jazzy hip-hop is second to none.

His recent single ‘Flow State’ showcases his own unique take on the genre- forgoing sampling and chopping techniques for a dynamic take of entirely live instrumentation. ‘Flow State’ succinctly expresses that creative headspace that all artists aim to achieve, where logic and rationality give way to instinct and spontaneity. It’s one of those tracks that sounds almost as if it could have written itself, bringing with it an organic groove and natural connectedness of each musical element. But somewhere in between those smooth horns and cascading keys we know there’s a music producer steadily carving out his own air of effortlessness.

Hear more
Soundcloud
Facebook
Spotify
Instgram

Moshuss and Hanses take inspiration from Japanese pop culture for their beat album 'Poltergeist'

If there was ever any doubt that music styles in our current age are a global phenomenon, let Moshuss & Hanses put that to rest. The German duo’s debut release, ‘Poltergeist’, is classic American west coast beat scene, but produced entirely with Japanese samples. As is common with the style, Poltergeist is composed of 24 rapid-fire beats, none longer than 1:49. But there’s a wide variety of moods and feelings presented here, giving the release weight and texture that pull you in at the start of every new beat. There’s some Dilla-style sampling, some Q-Tip jazziness, classic Madlib texture, and a bit of Knxwledge whimsy to boot.

On the stand-out track ‘Sidmidak’, which you can stream above, Moshuss & Hanses deftly meld a heart-tugging orchestral arrangement with a classic rap beat that dances around the lush string harmonies. Label Fennek Records has pressed a small run of 10” vinyl, with 5 different woodcut-style illustration album covers, which match the timeless mood of the album well.

Slink on over to Bandcamp to hear the album in full, and pick up the vinyl release if you’re really feeling it.

— review by Autonomy

Moshuss & Hanses on the web:
Spotify
Bandcamp

Fennek Records on the web:
YouTube
Facebook

Bmbu digs deep into the memory banks for '#throwback'

‘#throwback’, the latest album release from Philadelphia-based beatmaker Bmbu, takes us deep inside his MPC-shaped brain, to a vivid past full of memories, chopped, sampled, arranged into a set of beats, and polished with the same patina that accrues on your own fondest mementos from days past.

Bmbu samples artfully, from jazzy brass to solo piano, and evokes a distant idea with each track. The beats swing and swagger about, providing plenty of structure, but never bombastically enough to overshadow the rich musicality he conjures. It’s a pleasant environment to sink into, one that feels personal, and at the same time relatable. This is particularly evident on #snorlax, which you can stream above, and fall into your own nostalgia…

If you’re feeling Bmbu, you can find the full album on bandcamp, as well as a 12” vinyl release over on Vinyl Digital.

— review by autonomy

Hear more from Bmbu:
Bandcamp
Spotify
Soundcloud

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:

Soundcloud
Spotify
YouTube
Facebook
Instagram

17 year old Iowa Producer Shiy is more than meets the eye.

First look at Shiy and you can tell straight away there isn’t a lot of information about him knocking about. His bio on Spotify reads one line “ 17 year old instrumental hip-hop and jazz producer from Iowa”, that’s it, as far as he is concerned that’s all you need to know. And you know what maybe it is. It’s refreshing these days to have a air of mystery around an artist and to solely let the music do the talking. 

Now, you might think maybe there is not much written about Shiy on his bio because like a lot of new pop-up producers he is brand spanking new to the game. But the truth is he has been around a little while. He already has a few albums to his name and for someone so young you can see a lot of promise in his capabilities. Rather than talk about his latest track “Nothatbad” which for the most part is pretty self explanatory, it’s not that bad! It’s a solid Jay Dilla sounding instrumental. It’s infectious, its fun, bright and hopeful. While listening you can imagine yourself pottering about whistling along. It is a nice, nostalgic little number and would be a good addition to any Spotify playlist. 

But what I was most impressed by was Shiy’s discography as a whole. His past releases sound quite different than his most recent album- ‘Autumnal’, and this variety really shows the full scope of the young producer. Each release has something to offer, and show a kind of creative maturity and skill of the craft. It’s the sort of atmosphere you’d expect to hear on a beloved old dusty Jazz LP. If you are a fan of beats that can give you real moments of musicality and melancholy within the realm of Jazz, Motown and Blues then be sure to check out Shiy.

Support his recent release ‘Autumnal’ over on Bandcamp

Further listening
Soundcloud
Spotify
Twitter
Instagram

Texas-native Frythm drops Ambient, Folktronica gem

Matthew Pena aka Frythm is a song writer, producer and DJ from Texas who is starting to build momentum from a series of releases on Soundcloud.  One look at his output over the last few months and you can tell he has been busy. While the majority of his releases have been more club focused, recently we seem to take a departure from his infectious high energy offerings to something more serene. 

Mariposa is a track that seems to be built on reflection. It reminds me of waking up on a peaceful Sunday morning. It gives the listener almost the sensation of that first morning stretch of the limbs while being highly nostalgic and contemplative. It exudes heart break and loss. It plays like a love letter to a lost lover. The track starts off wistful, airy and its ambient free- floating back ground noise and loose percussion make you drift away into your thoughts but the lush haunting vocal textures later draw you back down to earth with poignant affect. While Mariposa has a short run time of 2:40 it doesn’t take much time to draw you in and leave you with a lasting impression. 

Frythm shows us that he is not a one trick pony and is very much a producer with a firm grip on his craft and range. An up and comer to watch for sure, I am excited to see what comes next.

Social:
Soundcloud
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook

Rising star Catching Flies set to explode

Multi instrumentalist, producer and DJ, Catching Flies, aka George King, has achieved a great deal in his musical career already. His tunes have received millions of hits and listens, he's got support from the UK's top DJs and taste makers and he's toured the world over supporting some of the biggest DJs and artists.

The one thing that has evaded him thus far is that illusive first full length album. However as 2018 inches to a close, Catching Flies is set to remedy that. With his album release on the horizon, Flies drops a tantalizing teaser in our above track, 'New Gods', featuring a pair of similarly rising stars, collaborating with singer Oscar Jerome and rapper Jay Prince.

Catching Flies, who usually operates alone, blending through the genres of jazz, soul, hip-hop, house, electronica and more delivers a tightly produced track in 'New Gods'. The trio each have ample time to shine as Jay Prince raps about life eternal, Oscar Jerome provides a soulful backdrop, all the while Flies sounds linger, guiding the listener from laid back electronica beats building to a crescendo of jazzy guitar/bass expressions.

The whole thing evolves over a mere 3 minutes time and leaves you longing for more. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait a bit longer before his album drops, fortunately though, for those new to Catching Flies, like myself, our man George has more than an ample supply of music available online to satisfy that longing. Catching Flies has previously released an EP, another mini EP and loads of highly acclaimed DJ sets (such as the ‘On Deck’ Thump Mix) and mixes (such as his Solid Steel Radio Mix on Ninja Tune). He even has a monthly radio show on London based Radio station Radar Radio.

If you need any more help tracking Catching Flies as his star rises higher and higher, click onto platforms below:

SoundCloud
Bandcamp
Spotify
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook

Hungary's Àbáse serves up a thick cut of hip jazz

Hungarian producer and keyboardist Szabolcs Bognar, aka Àbáse, is here to keep jazz hip, while ensuring his beats make the masses hop. Àbáse recently released the above single, "Skeme Goes All City" in anticipation of his forthcoming full length album. Àbáse is the name of Bognar's collaborative jazz project. The album, which should drop later this year, is slated to feature a collection of Hungary's best and brightest in the world of jazz, hip hop, funk, afrobeat and more.

Bognar himself, has played a big part in the Budapest scene for a number of years, while honing his skills on his Rhodes keyboard and further developing his composition techniques. He has collaborated with singers, MCs, and instrumentalists, producing a wide range of sounds and flavors in the process, but always keeping things raw, urban and beat oriented.

Our featured track, "Skeme Goes All City" was recorded in the traditional jazz method, live in one take. It’s raw and uncut, with an analog sweetness. The title of the tune plays homage to New York graffiti artist Skeme, who similarly created his urban inspired art on the fly. The song features our man Szabolcs Bognar on Rhodes keys, Fanni Zahar on flute and vocals, Tamas Heilig on bass and Tamas Czirjak on drums. If this track is any indication of the rest of the album, we're in for a treat; think of standouts from the genre like Robert Glasper, Alfa Mist and Christian Scott, I expect this album to stand beside some giants, albeit a little more low profile.

While Àbáse's previous album, Elevate, could draw comparisons to greats like Guru, Nujabes, Pete Rock or Mablib; hip hop producers with a jazz edge, the new Àbáse project seems to be jazz first, with a hip hop undertone. However you want to classify Àbáse, whether he delves into hip hop, jazz, afro, funk or more; whether he releases tracks with vocals or delivers an album of all instrumentals, I for one, am more than excited to see what he brings us next and when the full album will finally be released.

If you like what you hear from Àbáse don’t hesitate to jump on the social media train via the following platforms:

SoundCloud
Spotify
Bandcamp
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram