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.

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Astred Collective's Anthony Bailey drops blissed out beats in 'Maelstrom Of Thoughts'.

Being a writer for ADSR means there is going to be a certain amount of bias in this review because Anthony Bailey is also a part of a creative collective. ‘Astred’, based out of Montreal, are on a mission to “promote universality, accessibility, empowerment & leadership in youth culture through music and art” and while doing my research for this review, I found that getting that message out there took centre stage rather than Bailey pushing his work through his own release. It’s inspiring to see this kind of integrity and dedication to a higher cause and of course myself and everyone else at ADSR hope to share the same values through what we do. It’s always nice to come across artists who are pushing community through music and art. Values, which in my opinion, could very well be translated to all aspects of life. 

Bias aside, ‘Want To Feel You’ is simply an excellent piece of lush lo-fi escapism. It’s a warm, infectious well crafted instrumental that creates the slickest of grooves from the play between the laid-back vocal, stripped back drums, dreamy Rhodes and seductive sax/guitar stabs. This is a quality release from Bailey and the good news is there are six more tracks of the same standard on the ‘Maelstrom Of Thoughts” Ep from which ‘Want To Feel You’ hails. This is a perfect blissed out beat for any favourable playlist, from a producer who has loads of talent to share and continues to hone his craft daily.

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Strolling in street snapshots with KiLLOWEN'S 'Solar'.

There’s no denying that 19 year old London producer and vocalist KiLLOWEN has a certain amount of gravitas to him. Starting a track with a raw vocal with just some reverb is a powerful way to introduce you to his world, it stops you in your tracks and forces you to pay attention. Keeping our attention in music isn’t always easy, but for KiLLOWEN it just comes naturally.  

KiLLOWEN has been producing tracks since he was 13 and started his journey with music long before that, as early as 8 or 9 years of age. So it’s then easy to understand why on first impression I thought I was listening to someone more mature, because I was. KiLLOWEN is a very talented young artist who because of his early start in music has developed his production skills to the level of any established producer.

Solar is a polished, street, R&B gem. You can hear influences from similar artists that have come before him such as The Streets, Maverick Sabre and Real Lies to mention a few. KiLLOWEN does what all of these artists do extremely well and that is to allow you into their private lives in a way that is extremely poetic and uplifting even when dealing with the harshest of realities. Solar is a song dedicated to the passing of a close friend, the song was written the day of passing. This kind of poignancy is prevalent throughout and it grounds you in the artists experience, walking in his shoes, sharing for a moment a snap shot of his life.

Although this is heavy lifting for someone so young, you never get the sense of that because the track is sustained in such soulful praise that we are stately elevated throughout. I am very excited to stroll along the streets of this young man’s imagination once again in the future. 

Catch more from Killowen here:

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Kurt Stewart has me dreaming of Laundry!

When Kurt Stewart described what was going through his head when he put “Laundry” together it said “ I made this beat looking out the window watching fall turn to winter.” And I think that is the perfect way to describe this seasonal, chilled out track.

Funny enough in the UK there is a laundry softening detergent named “Comfort”. Now it’s a simplistic name but a powerful one because that one word associated with fresh clothes invokes an image of something basic, something soothing. On a cold, blustery autumn day it’s nice to do things around the house, tidy up the living room, light a fire, make a cup of coffee maybe while listening to Kurt Stewarts new release because you know what? It has the same effect as all of the above. It comforts you, from the deep resonant bassline to the crackling background sound of vinyl, the crisp drums and the dreamy Rhodes chords. All of these elements bring you the auditory version of that feeling of fresh laundry, of a warm fire on a cold day, protected from the winds outside. Kurt has captured this feeling perfectly. The only thing I wish is that the run time was a bit longer. At 1:38, we get just a brief taste of this breezy, laid back world. Regardless, there’s no doubt that this is a solid Lo-Fi Hip-Hop gem for any playlist.

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London based hip-hop producer Big-O drops new album 'Instability'

We’re all looking for our own little slice of peace in this world aren’t we? American-born, London- based, hip-hop producer- Orlando Turner certainly thinks so. The first single ‘My place in this world’ from his recently dropped full length album ‘Instability’ explores his own definition of peace and the album as a whole touches on the larger concepts of belonging, uncertainty, and sense of purpose.

Turner has been making beats since the age of 13, and in a way the album explores his own personal journey having moved from Alabama to Florida and Miami to LA, before finally finding his niche in London.

The album features 16 tracks spanning a variety of sounds and production techniques. From the sample-heavy beats of ‘Imperfect Voyage’ to the built from scratch style of ‘Cryin’ Clouds’ the album covers everything from soulful hip-hop to jazzy beats and electronica to break heavy funk.

It’s a journey definitely worth documenting, and reminds us that despite life’s ups and downs and moments of instability, finding that sense of peace through music makes it all right in the end.

Support the album over on Bandcamp

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Next Thursday in Tokyo!

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We are very happy to host a true OG from the Korean beat scene: Simo! The man has been a fixture in the Seoul hip hop community for a minute now, and after hearing his cracking beats it's easy to see why. Previously one half of the hip hop production duo 'Simo and Mood Schula' who won the 2012 KMA (Korean Music Award) Best Hip Hop/ Rap Album award, Simo has taken his studio and musical experience in a new direction with fresh beats and collaborations for 2018. Simo has released on Universal Music Korea, Amoeba Culture and Darker than Wax. 

Expect an extended set of old classics, collaborations and some fresh material from his upcoming EP!

With support from:
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Asahi Suzuki
Heuristics
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Beat tech killah and Le0na in the Tatami room