In 2014 vaporwave has hit its expiry date, while emotional trap seems to have reached some sort of apex, and the mainstream listener has finally started to apprehend the whole based-rap schtick (RIP). As scores of fans wait patiently for their idols to reinvent themselves, boom-bap purists make snide remarks, dismissing artists like Yung Lean and Bones as no-talent hype-mongers who were always destined for an early e-grave. While some of these artists may get a little too much exposure through social media, there is absolutely no denying the raw talent that it takes to produce some of the work they create. (See Yung Gud’s ‘U Want Me’.)
‘Northface’, a collaboration between two of Brisbane’s most promising SoundCloud users, is a refreshing reminder that internet-gen musicians really do thrive on change. Producer UV boi (aka Spooky White, aka the only person in the world who looks better in a durag than Spooky Black) only interferes with his sample of choice when absolutely necessary, employing a powerfully sparse scattering of crisp hi-hats and puff synth lines as he strolls away from the 808-heavy stylings his fans have come to expect. The result – which sounds like a future-edit of a discarded Usher instrumental – paves an appropriate path for singer-producer Blair de Milo to work his magic, dragging the listener into his world with an emotional plea. If you haven’t heard this talented purveyor of “poor-mans R&B” yet, his SoundCloud is always being updated with new reasons to start listening.
Sure, ‘Northface’ may not tip the game on its head, but the way it combines a whole host of trending sounds into something fresh certainly provides a glimpse of hope for emotional internet sensations everywhere.
Stream the track below for a taste of things to come.
Also, to properly introduce you to Blair, I caught up with him to find out what tracks he’s rinsing ATM.
Aaliyah – ‘Rock the Boat’
I had Aaliyah’s ‘Rock the Boat’ on repeat while travelling to record the track and I kept kinda referring to it. Her magnum opus, in my opinion.
Mariah Carey – ‘Dedicated’ (feat. Nas)
Really digging her new album at the moment. Too bad it didn’t do too well.
D’Angelo – ‘Cruisin’
‘Cruisin’ by D’Angelo is a big one for me. Really excited to see him next month!
Bok Bok – ‘Melba’s Call’ (feat. Kelela)
Kelela has always inspired me too. She always provides a perfect vocal for some really interesting beats. I’ve been digging this track for a while now.
Erykah Badu – ‘Other Side of the Game’
And finally, this list wouldn’t be complete without a lil’ Erykah Badu. When I first heard ‘Other Side of the Game’ it just blew my mind.