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Music Reviews

by Qurrx


Issue 3

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EMEPAE - ZONING OUT VOL 1: 8

This 20 beat track tape is the outstanding new effort from the Poland based producer Emepae, released on Cold Busted Records (USA, CA). The 90’s style drums are well programmed throughout and well chosen samples are perfectly placed to create a listening experience that’s hard to find these days. Right away, track # 1, TL to LAX, sets the tone for the album with a MPC style beat with lofi vibe, bass, and cut samples. On track #6 invasion - The grimy 16(t) trimmed kick and airy snare with organ and bass samples will make you want to set the song on repeat. And Track # 14 In Nature, pleasantly reminds me of some old DITC track and it doesn’t take much to imagine hearing Lord Finesse rapping over the beat.


Overall, the record lives up to its name, as it’s perfect for zoning out, meditating, reading, driving, cooking, ect. It’s a nice treat to play all the way through without a second thought and get lost to the music.

 
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CHROME SPARKS - CHROME SPARKS: 8

Chrome Sparks delivers his new self titled 10 track release that demonstrates his skills on the keyboards, while also programming some skillful yet catchy drum programming. Throughout the record, track after track, I found myself appreciating the multiple layers of synthesizers and how well they worked together, never making the sound cluttered as you often hear in modern electronic music.

My favorite track, #4 Sugar, has perfectly selected synths and a chill drum rhythm that makes for a song that will be on a lot of playlists for years to come. Chrome Sparks also has some features vocalists throughout the record, Angelica Bass, who’s on two of the tracks, perfectly compliments a old school party beat (What’s it gonna take) and a dope psychichelic R&B track (#5 All or Nothing). This record shows that Chrome Sparks is a true artist and what he did will reach a lot of different musical audiences.

 

 

KHRUANGBIN - CON TODO EL MUNDO: 8

Khruangbin has been putting out some excellent music over the past few years, like their 2015 release, The Universe Smiles Upon You, they astonished me with their vintage, minimal, and psychedelic sound. Based on that, I had extremely high standards for their newest release, Con Todo El Mundo. They did a good job of staying true to their sound with a relaxing vibe that is both gritty and soulful. The tracks are calm and laced with an afro-latin jazz-rock fusion sound, while also being perfectly suited for contemplative work. Track #10, Rules, is one of my favorite tracks of the 2018, a definite head nodder - with a grimy bass-line that leans forward over the well placed drum rhythm and guitar. However, through-out the record, the guitar sounds were a bit too intrusive for my taste, and it almost started sounding like Fish or some sort of jam-band at some points in the record. Overall, Khruangbin successfully created some good music, but I know many of us were hoping for more.

 

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SCB - CAIBU: 7.5

A well done house-downtempo-techno hybrid LP by the well known producer Scuba on Hotflush records. This is his first release under the SCB moniker and it will have people looking for his next release. Although the record has a very vintage electronic sound, SCB does a good job of not sticking with one particular genre throughout the record. About 5 of the 16 tracks are ones you’ll want to keep in your electronic play-lists. Among the best tracks, #6 Extinct, stood out of the rest with it’s house style repetitive bass drum and vintage accompanying synths that are almost trace inducing. For most of the tracks, the beats are well programmed and synths are unobtrusively place over the top. This is a good record to put on and get work done while listening.

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UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA - SEX AND FOOD: 8.5

Unknown Mortal Orchestra (UMO), is a three piece group, one of the members is from the the US and the other two are siblings from New Zealand. The group just released their 4th album, called Sex and Food on Jagjaguwar records.


This record is an artsy and psychedelic modern-rock-fusion that was has a nice dirtiness and lo-fi feeling. My favorite track, #9 Doomsday, demonstrates that vintage sound and a simple guitar rift, melancholy vocals, hip-hop sounding drum (hit-hatless). Another notable track, #4 Hunnybee, is a fun sounding track with a bass leading sound reminiscent of a old school P-Funk track. Overall, UMO demonstrate their skills throughout