Oh, man.. Them 808’s doe…
This album is laced with cyanide, LSD, Sine wave bass, and enough 808 kits to make the Beasty Boys jealous.
Great sampling and wonderful subtle complexity. Marcel Everett (XXYYXX) did a great job with the vocal samples.
The instrumentation and “genre” are old school, ground down to it’s simplest form, and mixed in a blender, “under water, on drugs.”
The reason this artist stands out to me is the fact that he is moving in a direction aside from “top 40 artists,” and yet remains relevant to the status quo. My status quo at least.
If you enjoy hip hop influenced electronic music, this artist/album is for you.
At any rate, contemporary popular music is stuck in a hole, and I think the road that XXYYXX and his fellow electronic musicians with the Relief In Abstract label are taking is a good change in electronic music. Not that I’m suggesting other contemporary artists should necessarily follow that road as well, but rather they should be more ambitious in the movement that is Electronic music. The chord changes and rhythms are too plain – or maybe too overdone – in most popular music of the 21st century, and I think it’s partially due to the fact that there is such an expansive tool set available for contemporary musicians, that it’s taken until somewhat recently for those artists to begin really using those tools to their full potential. Big room synths and wobble basses are cool and all, but don’t make for much to build on.
Overall, I feel that the electronic music industry is quickly approaching a revolution of sorts. Being a musician myself.. more specifically an aspiring electronic musician.. The songs we can potentially write is about as limitless as it can get. From sound design to rhythmic and harmonic combinations, it’s almost unlimited when it comes to what we are capable. Limited, of course, only by our own creativity.
Starting with “About You,” the album eases the listener into a droning chord sine wave-ish pad, followed by hard-hitting analog kicks and snares. The album follows the throwback theme to the end for the most part, which is both hip, and also, a bit tiring. I appreciate the rebirth of the classic 808 samples. After all, it’s the basis for about %90 of all popular music these days, and these “pop” artists have truly done the original no justice by resampling and redrafting the kit. However, I also do not appreciate the fact that it’s the basis for most of the percussion on this album. There are many other percussive samples of course, but the 808 bits were overused a tad on this one. No matter what the perspective is though, it is very well done.
In short, XXYYXX is refreshing for 808’s, hip hop, beats, sampling, and electronic music as a whole.