Princeton, New Jersey producer Com Truise first grabbed my attention about a year ago with a wonky, neuvo-eighties remix of a neon indian song. This was in the wake of that whole chillwave thing, so neo synth pop was everywhere, but that tune stood out. This more recent effort is in another league. Almost completely devoid of vocal samples, the tune still grabs your attention with meticulously designed and layered synths, which possess a fat, analog quality and an utterly space age vibe at once. The sounds develop and morph throughout the song, and the structure defies convention in a wonderful way. This song is miles away from trap music, a rare and fantastic quality these days. Stream it at the Ghostly soundcloud, and check out his forthcoming LP, In Decay, here.
MMM. I remember this vocal, or some iteration of it, from Jamie xx’s tour de force of an essential mix and I’m so glad to hear it pop up again. Redlight puts the vocal smack dab in the center of the mix and builds a wonderful, housey jam around it. The bass is deep, the synths have vibes for days and the drums shuffle and pop in an utterly danceable manner. And Annie Mac is down. She claims to be giving the song away for free, but the downloadlink is non-existent on the soudcloud page :(. Regardless, please give this song a rinse below, I doubt you will regret it.
There’s something about Aaliyah’s voice, the breathiness, the clarity, I dunno really, but it gets me every time. Rock The Boat is an easy to find acapella and it features her saying “Boy you really get me high”; connect the dots and it makes sense that it has been sampled by everyone & their mother’s uncle (including yours truly). East coast producer Tony Quattro really did it this time tho, setting up an airy, reverby space with warm synths and crisp drums for Aaliyahs generally unadulterated vocals. At the drop, a simple tonal bass really pushes the track to the next level. Add in some happy, shuffling hi hats and you’ve got a feel good summer banger. Like the man’s facebook page for a free DL and stream off his soundcloud below.
It’s hard for me not to press play on a song with a genre of “Ratchet”. This instinct paid off, as this jawn from Florida producer C.Z. is one of the most puzzling little slappers I’ve come across in a cool minute. It’s decidedly trappy, but in a surprisingly original way. Tuned percussion stutters about the midrange in a strange, completely unique manner, and C.Z. sets it up with a tasty little vocal sample. The decidedly left-field take on the Lex Luger paradigm works wonders, and Baauer is down, seeing as he featured this track in his Diplo & Friends release. No word on an official release, but as of now you can grab this one as a free download.
Soundcloud has been kind to me today. My dashboard hooked me up with a banger from Obey City X Baauer, and now it’s directing me to this dancefloor heater of a remix from London producer Last Japan. The track features some subtle nods to stateside hip-hop but shys away from the trap paradigm, instead taking influences from UK Funky percussion. The 808 starts deep and expands up through the sonic spectrum, by the end of the song filling the speakers with pure low-end goodness. The track is scheduled to be released on the original artist My Nu Leng’s EP July 2nd on London imprint LNUK. Stream this fuego below.
One of these days I’m gonna post about something substantive, something beautiful. But 2 me, making a club banger is becoming more and more important these days and is an art form in itself. I’m a little late to the party, but this track has been making some serious waves on the cloud of sound, and for good reason. Lunice’s rework of Flosstradamus and Danny Brown has all that I need on the dancefloor: a deeeep 808, snares/claps/whoops that stutter along perfectly with a nasty hook of a vocal sample, and some dark, wavy vibes. This is the kind of track that a casual listener might write off as cheap and dirty, but I see it as careful and focused. It’s focused on a subject material and sound that would immediately scare off most listeners over 25, but as far as something that fits into the hip-hop/club tradition, I love this track. It’s out now as a remix track on Flosstradamus’ Jubilation 2.0 EP, released through Fools Gold Records.
Wow, this is the first I’ve heard of this Swiss house wizard, but the vibes got me from the start. A bouncy four on the floor riddim complements a tuned down Missy Elliot like peanut butter and jelly. Please give this tune a spin; its fun, smart, and portends more good things to come.
Mr. West recently set the interweb ablaze by releasing a video for his Kanye & Friends banger (well, banger except for ‘Ye’s verse, even that’s aight-ish) “Mercy”.
Ostensibly, this deserves coverage on The Astral Plane because “Hudson Mowhawke played some instruments” in the production process of “Mercy”. But I like it for more than the involvement of my second favorite preteen lookin’ ass producer from Glasgow. DJ Nobody, or another slightly less flossy resident, has played this every week at Low End Theory since it’s release and fuck, people still get TURN’T to this song. I think this song is pushing things forward. It clearly falls into the trap aesthetic, it’s dark and looming, hangs out in a menacing minor key, and bangs along at a nice leisurely tempo. BUT THERE AREN’T ANY MACHINE GUN HIHATS. Can you even do that? Is that allowed? Of course. Things like Kanye’s dancehall sample, Big Sean talking about his favorite body part, and 2chainz being a boss carry the song rather than the elements of trap production that have been driving people bananas lately. I like that. I don’t want dark slow rap beats to turn into the “pissing contest” that dubstep has today. Obviously, who can make the craziest, waviest beat will be a lot better pissing contest than dubstep’s quest for filth and middle school fans, but I would hate to see American bass music get stuck in another rut. Luckily, the GOOD crew has placed a commercially successful beacon out there for producers to look at and say, hmmmmm, maybe more with less is the way to fuck the club up.
Man I don’t even like video games that much but yaow!zers this track goes. I’ve found I can always count on 5kin&bone5 to produce some fantastic future beats and Sinden shares the dark space age vibe. Many shots out to Unknown to the Unknown, really doing their thing over there.
Brainfeeder is best known for its stable of beatsmiths, but FlyLo has found a few dudes who can spit equally weird and wavy bars. Amongst the MCs on the LA label is globetrotting nomad Azizi Gibson, a charismatic, smart dude trying to bridge the gap between good music and popular music. A former resident of Bangkok and Maryland, among other places, Z now resides in the city of angels, where he has been preparing a slew of free releases in preparation for his debut LP, due at some point in the upcoming year. Among other things, the rapper has a collaborative effort with fellow Brainfeeder artist Lapalux on the way soon that should blow quite a few doors down. In the mean time, here is the video for “Booshie Champagne”, (a track off Z’s Phuck Dlx mixtape, which you can grab for free here), filmed on a whim over a typical weekend of getting properly turn’t. The song itself oozes carefree confidence and fun and begs to get stuck in your head on a beautiful sunny day.