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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Blink and you'll miss Instupendo's stunning winter elegy, 'Persona'

Modern music, especially electronic-based music, has a tendency to try to pull you in as soon as possible. This is of course not surprising, or even a bad thing, considering the incredible explosion of new music over the last decade or so, combined with the nascent expectation of instant gratification in our daily lives. But it certainly puts music that ignores this tendency on shaky ground — will compositional patience pay off, or will it end up devoured by the deluge of new music that presents itself to us every single day? For ‘Persona’, Instupendo doesn’t seem to care about any of that.

Instead of trying to lure you in, Persona creates its own emotional space, perfectly content in its own world. If you blink you’ll miss it, but if you approach it with care and attention, suddenly it’s impossible to ignore its delicate, detuned chords calling out to you. Winter is a season to slow down, and hopefully reflect thoughtfully on our lives. Instupendo, inspired by the season for this track, shows us why it’s worth it to do exactly that.

— review by autonomy


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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?

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Ambient Longplayer from New York's John Thayer

How long should a good ambient track be?

5 minutes? 10 minutes? 15 minutes?

New York composer and musician- John Thayer and Washington DC based record label- Surfacing Records both agree it should be somewhere up the double digits. Which in itself, is quite the feat. To create a sonically engaging, varied and dynamic arrangement that can not only hold the listeners attention for that amount of time, but gradually and subtly pull them into a world of warm tape loops and organic field recordings.

Thayer’s release ‘Regarding Wave’ from earlier this year has exactly this drawn out, engaging effect. Featuring 2 tracks of 14 and 17 minutes in length, the release takes an unhurried approach into a world of soft synths, lofi vibrations, and delicate drones. It’s the perfect unobtrusive soundtrack to accompany a good book or a quick mental reset. Regardless of the musical pairing, John Thayer’s thoughtful and effortless compositions should definitely be on your ambient music radar.

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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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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

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Hazy Lofi house from New York's - Monolithic

Jun Torii, aka Monolithic, creates dreamy, lofi house sprinkled with touches of nostalgia and urban imagery. Born in Japan, raised in Germany, US and the UK, and now based in New York, Jun has certainly seen his fair share of international cityscapes and neon-lit skylines.

Since graduating from the Institute of Audio Research in New York with a certificate in audio recording and production, Jun has gone on to work as an audio engineer and dialog editor for television, film and video games. Always keeping side projects and electronic music on the go, Jun has also managed to carve out a unique niche for himself in the lofi house music community. 

Jun describes the Monolith sound as "booming 909 kicks, compressed claps, saturated bass plucks, and dreamy synthwork." A distinct throwback to the sounds of yesterday with a keen ear to the clean, cutting modern production methods of today. Monolith 'Time' serves as a friendly reminder that lofi house can be hazy, nostalgic, crisp and well mixed all at the same time. Serving as the 30th release from Melbourne-based label clipp.art, 'Time' finds a comfortable home within the labels eclectic, feel good discography. 

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ADSR artist Tokiomi to play Mutek Festival

ADSR artist Tokiomi confirmed in Mutek Montreal 2017 lineup.

We are happy to announce ADSR artist Tokiomi will be performing at this years Mutek Festival, August 22-27 in Montreal, Canada.  

Catch Tokiomi at the closing night of the festival on Sunday, August 27th at...
Society for Arts and Technology [SAT]
1201 Saint-Laurent Blvd, Montréal, QC H2X 2S6
Montréal, Canada

More info. over here:
http://www.mutek.org/en/montreal/2017/artists/9293-tokiomi