Saturday, April 14, 2012

Suburban Dream - Wandering Around

I've been following Suburban Dream for a few years and his latest - "Wandering Around" - is a downtempo piece that builds with elements of jazz and hip hop, giving it great texture, which is no coincidence considering this track is, in his words, "actually a tribute to Mark Farina's acclaimed Mushroom Jazz series which Ciaran [the man behind Suburban Dream] has repeatedly found inspiration from over the years. It builds beautifully, wrapping the listener within a curtain of sound." Suburban Dream continues to produce great chillout tunes that perfectly toe the line between ambient and head-noddin' electronic lounge music. I'm always excited to hear the latest from Suburban Dream - all his work maintains a dream-like quality (no pun intended) created with light synthetic sounds and pointed percussion that together carry a ton of weight. His songs are aptly named to fit the stereotypical suburban experience - "Wandering Around [looking for my friends]" "We Long To Be" and "They Start Out Using." As I was checking out his latest , I was also surprised to find a track that I hadn't yet heard: "We Long To Be" This downtempo track has a simple lyrical phrase punctuated with drug references and this sense of yearning, that is lifted by synthetic sounds that lighten the track and put it into the clouds (an effect of the drugs maybe?)

Monday, April 9, 2012

New Gramatik EP - #DigitalFreedom - Pretty Lights Music label

Gramatik (Pretty Lights Music) released a new EP last week called #DigitalFreedom. His sound is historically hip hop driven (like most Pretty Lights Music) with gritty funk elements and less electronic sampling than other PLM artists such as SuperVision, Paul Basic or Paper Diamond.

#DigitalFreedom maintains the foundation of downtempo hip hop but brings in a much stronger electronic element (mostly dubstep oriented) than his previous work. I've heard this shift across many of Pretty Lights Music's latest releases. Fortunately, they all incorporate new sounds without sacrificing the style that their listeners have come to appreciate. This is true for the new Gramatik release. It really does meld his style with new elements, and there's a healthy balanced mix of really organic hip hop samples and synthetic downtempo electro. Listen on SoundCloud and download his new album on Pretty Lights Music for free:

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