Monday, 29 June 2020



The ambience of a city — the apartment blocks with glowing windows, the brake lights flashing in the rain, the parades of people on the pavement, umbrellas, dog-walkers, stairs down to metro stations, neon eateries — is at the heart of the imagery conjured by 'Underground' by Boston-based indigos paradise.

On a blurred, watery backdrop acting as a melodic palette where all the fatigue that glittering city life can have is mixed, the producer adds snappy handclaps and sharp hi-hats for the the inescapable regularity of it all: the rectangular buildings, the traffic lights, the endless grids.

"How I see my hometown, with big buildings through the skyline, brings out different visuals and imagery I put towards my music," says indigos paradise via email. "Let's say that you are walking down a path, and it's good warm day to go for a walk. You hear this elegant track when you click to the play that gathers the whole surroundings around you. The wind starts breezing through your scalp and goes down to your neck while hearing it.

"I kinda picture my music as the 22nd century."

Adding to the beat and the all-encompassing shades of the synth whirling like a deluge, staccato synths hop smartly throughout for a bustling atmosphere, as if, now that you have the city, here is the life — the people — to jostle around it, here are their silhouettes and footsteps. Nocturnal and doused with faded uptown glamour, 'Underground' is the malls and walkways of yesteryear, still just half-empty with promise.

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Wednesday, 24 June 2020



Taken from his SONDER EP, Broken Kid Club's 'Lightbeam' is the softness of life entangled with its harsher parts. The stress of skittering percussion, hyperventilating synth, cracking synth, far-off gunshots, yes — but also the mellow of a clouded sunrise in tracts of modulated synth, calming vox rising up like a forcefield. Then, abruptly, the circuitry changes again.

Mexico City-based producer Broken Kid Club credits the intense-yet-beautiful sounds on their track 'Lightbeam' to a careful balance of tension and mellowed sounds. The track, they explain, represents his own musical journey — that of going from a "pop songwriter" to creating more complex music like this, enlisting the help of fellow musician, LA-based Sqwd, to execute it.

"I envisioned a lot of aquatic animals alongside different, colourful textures," Broken Kid Club says via email, speaking about the imagery behind the track that also went on to inform the EP's artwork.

Otherwise minimal and almost oppressive with its sense of space, 'Lightbeam' is noisy and pugilistic, shot through with glimmers of human joy and relief, a melding of machine and mind. "I believe living one of the world's most surreal cities has definitely impacted my production style," they say.

"It's impossible to see what one sees every day in my hometown and stay inside the box."

Broken Kid Club Internet Presence ☟

Saturday, 6 June 2020



The cut-up collage of sound that stutters through 'Squuueze' flows softly and stays knife-edge sharp — testament to how LA-based producer Jonie digs the "unique energy and musicality" of '90s West Coast funk and hip-hop.

"Producers like Dre and Dilla used sampling in a way that was really musical, playing it like an instrument and composing with it," Jonie tells y/n. "I got into making electronic music a few years ago, and in the beginning it felt very stale and cookie-cutter, so I wanted to see if I could loosen the tie and emulate that musicality in my own may."

Accordingly, 'Squuueze' verges on virtuosic — and at times reminiscent of the 'Battle Against A Weird Opponent' theme from '90s SNES classic Earthbound. Bustling in the beginning, with varying textures, tones and colours jostling for space (people, cars, city sights), the track plays out the sun-drenched day and fades towards pastel evening in its second half; that West Coast lilt comes into play, a drawling high-pitched synth the herald of heat-warped tarmac and palms, the landscape of an idealised summer.

  • πŸ”” Like what you hear? Check out more from Jonie over on SoundCloud.

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Friday, 5 June 2020



"Hands up, don't shoot, I can't breathe: Famous last words when you look like me." One of the many lines in 'Running Outta Time' that show raw emotion, effortless flow, rhythm and rhyme — an emotive response from LA-based TxTHEWAY to the murder of George Floyd by police officers.

"My brother Brian is busy marching today but he's really the catalyst for this song," he tells y/n via email. "Since social distancing went into place he started diving head first into music and would send me several beats and scratch ideas every couple of days."

'Running Outta Time', with its simplicity, its gleaming yet careworn feel, is one of those ideas. The nebulous vibe of the instrumental, the delicate skittering beat, feels soft — comfortable even — and paints a gentle, intricate backdrop to a track already laced lyrically with tenderness. Though it's a "space to not be okay", TxTHEWAY explains further what is at the heart of 'Running Outta Time'.

"This song is us processing," he says. "It's us asking for understanding while letting our brothers and sisters know that we understand. If people leave from this moment with nothing else, we hope they take that understanding and share it among friends, family members, and coworkers."

Both from Broward County, Florida — TxTHEWAY now based in LA, Brian Fender in New York — the track artwork depicts a childhood photo of the brothers with added crosshairs: a harrowing reminder of the reality, and a reflection of the humanity, and inhumanity, explored in the track; notably the interruption of a gunshot as Brian Fender delivers the hook: "Many things in this life of mine that I survived / Many wrongs I wanna right, I hope don't run outta time."

"Even though the music came to us easy, the subject matter did not," says TxTHEWAY. "The more we watched the news it became clear that even in this new world, even as humanity fights Covid-19 (our invisible enemy) there is another enemy in front of us that is older and just as sinister... racism."

"As we watched the life slip away from George Floyd we saw ourselves, we saw our own mortality, we recognized how easily that could be any person of color. We, like George in his last moments, are running out of time."

From Brian Fender's bouncing, optimist flow and TxTHEWAY's imploring and melodic "Someone say a prayer for me / Promise you'll be there for me", to the detached determination of the instrumental, the softness of 'Running Outta Time' makes digestible the hard-to-swallow reality, bitter hardships delivered from the heart.

  • πŸ”” Purchase or stream 'Running Outta Time' via your favourite service, or support Brian Fender and TxTHEWAY's message by sharing.

Brian Fender Internet Presence ☟

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Wednesday, 3 June 2020

🐣 DJ EARL — NO CAP 4 2020


"Pretty much getting reacquainted with the scene back home," writes purveyor of footwork DJ Earl, speaking to y/n about his latest track, 'No Cap 4 2020'. With unrelenting rumble and aching classic piano stabs — the all-important vocals samples like a mind-over-matter mantra — it's a floor-moving sonic sojourn.

"I was hanging with some footworkers, specifically Jalen (TOG) & Acey (The Prophecy). They was saying how they miss me DJing the footwork battles and that it's a missing element in a lot of the music that gets played there," DJ Earl continues.

"They were saying my travels definitely changed my sound a lot and that they wanted me to, since I'm back on Chicago, start making battle tracks. So I went back to form and made a Chicago-themed soulful footwork track with some familiar chants like 'no cap' and 'you can’t fuck with me' being something that gets said between dancers as they compete."

The carefree, sing-song vocals that wing their way over the heart-pounding thump of 'No Cap 4 2020' add a playfulness to the frenzied repetition of those two phrases, the rapid fire "you can't fuck with me" melding with the clacking snares for a devastating result — replicating the "kinda energy the footworkers need to fuel high levels of creativity on the dance floor," as Earl puts it — all the while piano chords hang in the air, prismatic, like onlookers mesmerised by the scene.

DJ Earl Internet Presence ☟
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