Tuesday, 21 October 2014

MUS.HIBA – SLOW SNOW

Never before has a song sounded so much like its title. Well maybe it has but anyway… This is 'Slow Snow' by mus.hiba and yes, it basically sounds like slow snow. It is a delicate and gentle song, artfully spanning the four minutes of its existence with a snowscape of sound, a soundscape of snow; it falls from the evening sky in slo-mo spirals, highlighted in streetlights that grace the already fallen layer of snow on the ground – no one is around in the frozen streets. It sure does paint a picture.

The track is all set to a slow and carefully considered beat that summons the laid-back style of southern hip hop and trap, giving substance to the hugely expansive synths that satisfyingly dip in volume with each heartbeat kick. Dancing with these synth chords are piano melodies and clusters of gravity-defying glockenspiel, chiming evermore towards the end of the track.

On vocals it features not an actual person but one of the voices or even personalities taken from voicebank freeware UTAU, called Yufu Sekka, the gentle sounds of whom whisper like breezes in the synthetic snow-swirls of mus.hiba's production. Using this hyperreal technique, mus.hiba has created an entire album of music centred around themes of snow and winter, "to express the fragility of a two-dimensional character singing." I very much like this idea. Top marks.

  • The album is called White Girl, it is scheduled for release 10th December (suitably wintry) on the Japanese Noble Label and it will be very, very beautiful if 'Slow Snow' is anything to go by. Go buy it here.
  • Also check out the fragmented prettiness and gradual intensity of the other song released from the album so far, 'Moonlight'
  • Fun fact: Yufu Sekka = Yufu, ユフ, inverse of fuyu (winter); Sekka, 雪歌 ("Snow Song") – so there you go.



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Monday, 20 October 2014

LEMONADE – COME DOWN SOFTLY (ET ALIAE REMIX)

From the first organic twinklings of this track, it's a joy to listen to from start to finish, and marks a slightly harder sound for its creator, the one who remixed 'Come Down Softly' rather, London musicmaker et aliae. The kicks, locked into syncopation with the smart synth chords, seem to thud with more rumbling punch than they ever have done, yet she retains the sense she brings to all her songs, that of floating in a known unknown, a substantial cloud of nothingness travelling down glossy new waterslides in the slacker capacity of ride tester; you don't have to queue for this shit, it's instantly accessible.

The original track by Brooklyn band Lemonade (who can now count et aliae as a labelmate; this remix marks her induction to supernice label CASCINE) is a reverbing wash of sound with an oceanic feel, one that et aliae has channeled into fluid streams and angularly winding rivulets through her use jazz-flavoured chords and more legible beats than feature in the original, abounding with virtuosic hi-hats and tropically lilting shakers, and retaining the phantomic reverbing of the original's vocals.

I guess this is it. A very nice remix of a tasty song, which has helped to illustrate the power of internet music: even without pretence, it WILL BE and HAS BEEN noticed.



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Sunday, 19 October 2014

PRIMAPARTE – 1975. // noire

This ain't the newest song from this German beatmaker, but it is the first one I heard when I stumbled onto his SoundCloud page. I also listened to a couple of his other tracks, but, yeah, still decided to show you guys this one.

It's called '1975.' and it's by a guy from Essen, Germany (fun fact: the city recently started an initiative which pays alcoholics in beer to clean the streets) called primaparte. It is hip hop, or at least utilises an offbeat that is very hip hop, as well as a whole lotta sampling and looping.

The track soars with the sound of astronauts talking to mission control and gloopy pianos playing a warm walking-through-the-door-of-your-childhood-home type melody, as electronic buzzing and beeping get giddy in the crackling ambient cosmos conjured by the beatmaker. Note also the well-placed truncated sample of "Motherf—"

Speaking of which, and after a sampled "YEAH", you'll see it's smart af, with metronomic hi-hats ticking above tight snares that clack alternately to the thud-boom of the kicks, holding up this transportive wonder – even if it is only 1m 33s long.

And fuck it, why not listen to the sparkling 'noire' as well—

—which aches with sultry urban brass blares that announce the triumph of nocturnal lassitude, with the occasional sample of someone laughing, as if the kitchen utensil percussion is actually tickling him, whose beat is boom bap through and through. It basically sounds noire.

  • If you like the looped chilled stylings of these tracks then get yourself over to primaparte's SoundCloud and follow.



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