Younghoon Beats

 We all know of my non-existent relationship with hip-hop, and the introductory email described this as lo-fi hip-hop by a beatmaker and MC from California.

It’s times like this that I am relieved that no matter what the description, I always listen to everything I am sent.  Because I really don’t get hip-hop at all I certainly didn’t expect to like this, but I really bloody do.  In fact, I think it’s fucking great, and if I had paid attention to my initial expectations I could have missed it completely.

And while some of the more hip-hop elements are not necessarily the kind of thing I would normally listen to, the underlying production aesthetic, with its careful use of noise, stuttery samples and discomfort is very much the kind of thing I love.

There are elements of laid back electronic pop, some R&B and a little hip-hop here, but it’s all held together with a sort of stumbling, lazy collage of warm fuzz.  It’s not shocking or confrontational, and songs like All Alone and Either Or are pop tunes of the late night variety which won’t scare anyone. Take it Slow is a gentle soul entreaty to not grow up too fast, and there’s a welcoming feel to the whole record.

Looking at the aesthetic at play here, you could compare it to stuff like Sun Stains on the awesome Art is Hard Records, which is reminiscent of some of the really interesting stuff knocking about at the turn of the millenium which tragically gave birth to the woeful chillout genre and subsequently disappeared into the depths of beige middle class dinner party hell. Its descendants were horrific, but some of the music around at the start of that particular trend was awesome.

At the other end, you could point in the direction of the fucking great stuff being made by Funmi Wittle under the name of Bagel Project: R&B, for the most part, but pushed slightly further than this into the realm of disjointed stumble and stammer.

It’s still a kind of music about which I know relatively little, but some of the stuff I’ve heard recently has been hugely interesting, and I’ve been really enjoying it.