Rat Riley: TrapTronic – EP (Disc 1)

 

 

Do you remember that one kickback you went to? The one where everybody was having  a great time, you met a cute girl, and you escaped the party to talk about life? You shared your life stories committing seppuku and spilling your guts to each other.

This album brings back those nostalgic call backs to youth. Back when everything seemed so much more fun. Weed wasn’t boring yet, girls didn’t lose their luster, and the responsibilities of adulthood seemed so far away.

This album is really beautiful from the track Morning After although seems to be about hangovers, they’re the type of hangovers that are still fun. The kind that drinking a gatorade and popping an advil will cure, and that really is 100% worth it since the night before was so fun.

TrapTronic the piano that creates this whirlwind of butterflies in the stomach, and the distorted vocals piercing through as though your heart is beating through your chest. As you finally realize that you’re attracted to the girl you’re talking to and not only that–she’s attracted to you as well.

Full Moon with it’s vocal samples is a much more sensual song. It’s not the three pump dump kind of deal I’m talking about either. This song oozes with sexuality, the type of sex that lasts long, feels great, and makes you feel like a champion. The only problem with the track is that minor sample with the crow caw. Yet it still fits with the song, I’m just off the deep end on how this album made me feel. Personal interpretation and all that jazz.

Forlorn with it’s synthesized keys sounds very similar to TrapTronic, yet with the occasional echoed synth creates a feeling of anxiety. The encroachment of adulthood. The realization that all of those things in the past, are becoming that–in the past.

Traptronic – EP Disc (1) is one of those rare trap albums that’s not some guy plucking away on a DAW making cacophonous sounds that doesn’t even really sound like music. It’s wonderfully made, and creates a whirlwind of emotion. My interpretation, is just that–my interpretation. The feelings and emotion still remain to anybody who takes a listen. Whether it calls you back to your favorite book you read on a rainy day, to staying up all night playing video games with your bros, or even “Passing the herbs” –it captures the youth and nostalgia that’s now in the past.

So with review I give this album my recc.

 

St. Wave: Troposphere

 

 

 

So from thesis of the album “Telling a story of moral conflict within a mind of an introvert, striving to be a better individual. From one Millennial to another.” The album already has grandiose claims.

What I mean by grandiose is that every single person in America has become an armchair psychologist for millennials. That the reason for our lack of agency, histrionics, or whatever; is the result of trophies for everyone, being taught that we were all special snowflakes, etc. You get the picture. You’ve heard it before.

St. Wave with his unique lyricism paints us a portrait that most pundits, armchair psychologists, simply just can’t grasp.

The music in Troposphere Vol. 1 has this melancholy atmosphere that seeps through every sound. It’s a melancholy that can only be expressed by someone that has experienced what life has to offer–which isn’t much.

St. Wave with his introversion is very introspective, and as a result very insightful. He’s not like the typical rapper who boasts of his success, lectures others, and tells the classic from drug dealer to mogul story.

St. Wave isn’t like that, he’s somebody who strives for higher heights, who knows he deserves better, no song better encapsulates this than Troposphere, yet we “We walk alone in this day and age, a generation misunderstood.”

The paths to success or even to start a family, something that all previous generations had so easily been to obtain, seems to allude us. We aren’t able to go work for a high paying job straight out of high school, we aren’t able to get a degree and get the career we want, we aren’t able to do these things. So what else is there to do but to indulge in hedonism. We have no future– so why not smoke weed, drink, and hook up with chicks?

Yet St. Wave wants a better life. He wants to be a better man and LiVE EVIL–my personal favorite track on this album–encapsulates the inner turmoil that an average millennial faces from social pressures, giving into temptation, giving into sin, resulting in the self defeating chorus of “I give in everytime.”

I’ll paraphrase C.S. Lewis–because St. Wave has a soul unlike most contemporary artists–that everybody on earth always feels like there’s something missing. Because we have souls we always feel like we’re missing out on a grand adventure; that we all want to get on, but somehow can’t. As a result our lives feel empty, physical pleasures lose their allure, we become alienated from one another, and even love as St. Wave on Wine puts it “Doesn’t feel enough.”

Millennials with all of our drugs, instant gratification, materialism, hook ups, and everything else still can’t find the thing that we yearn for. What that is–alludes us. But the diagnosis the symptoms of the disease of the soul we have is no where better laid out than by St. Wave’s Troposphere Vol. 1.

I give this album my recc.

 

 

Phosfiend: Guilty Machines

 

 

Thank God there’s still originality in rap. Since it’s formation it’s always been highly contentious. Soul Train host Don Cornelius didn’t even regard it as a respectable form of art.

These days, it can be difficult to argue against that point. With thotcore and mumblecore dominating the scene, hiphop can seem to be leading the race to the bottom of the barrel, but that’s really an unfair and frankly ignorant stance to take.

Right off the bat, Phosfiend’s voice stands out as excellent. At first it seems like the type of voice that would fit perfectly in a metal band, so to hear that voice dedicated to rapping is a welcome juxtaposition. His unique vocal style give his songs an almost operatic tone.

The music varies wildly from a moog synthesizer, to heavy or reverbed out guitars, to bizarre sounding sitars. Everything is experimental, yet familiar.

The best way to describe his music that it is the 00’s sound. Not the mainstream sound that we remember, but the sound that we will nostalgically recall.

For example, everybody says that synthwave is the recreation of 80’s music. It’s not. It’s the nostalgic recreation of the ideal 80’s music, of those B movies that always promised a terrible, scary monster, accompanied by that infamous arpeggiated synth, but just delivered a guy in a rubber suit and overused stock music.

Phosfiend does that with the 00’s music; reconstructs the ideal, not the actual. For example, those rock-sounding vocals and the heavy guitars in Mad God seem like they could fit with any nu metal band of the 00’s–except that they wouldn’t. Nu metal offered a fusion of hip hop and heavy metal, but ultimately ended in a cringe-fest. Phosfiend– very much like synthwave–nostalgically recreates and delivers on the promises of the that scene, giving his listeners something they can’t help but feel they’ve been waiting for.

From the emo guitar in 2 Woke 2 Cope, to the lyrics of Guilty Machines discussing theology, every song is a fulfillment of what was 00’s aggressive music promised but never delivered.

When I think of that time I’ll always remember playing MK4 with friends late at night and listening to Papa Roach. Mad God (my favorite track on the album) seems to amalgamate these various sounds and invokes those feelings of nostalgia in a way that a lot of pop music can’t. It’s a sound that only somebody who lived and breathed in this century’s first decade can understand. It’s not something a studio hit-maker can produce on a whim. An excellent album worth checking out. I give it my recc

 

On Music Bloggers

 

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So anybody who has been in the music scene, who has been slaving away trying to “Make it” has gotten the same advice. Which is to get featured on a blog. An economy which is by nature a ponzi scheme.

Bloggers for some reason believe that they are holier than thou, they demand that you should pay $40 dollars for a chance to be promoted. They shill tweet after tweet saying that “If you just repost and comment your music you’ll be featured on our blog” a promise which always turns out to be bullshit.

Months pass by, you see two or three musicians featured with 10k-30k followers, all bypassing any promising underground talent–that could be the next David Bowie–based on the arbitrary amount of followers they have on soundcloud.

This desire to make it with the self appointed “taste-makers,” creates this incestuous dichotomy in which the music they approve creates a scene. People see that that scene gives people popularity and then everybody gets into this rat race to the lowest common denominator. Nobody pushes any new boundaries, sets up new genres, or whatever. Everything becomes stale, tiresome, and boring. Then everybody wonders why modern music (and even “indie” music) just sounds so bland.

So I have an easy solution to both find new music that pushes boundaries, that says something different–that is unique and beautiful–and that is if you say you’re a fucking blogger. Then blog.

After all the time and effort it takes a musician to make a song, the least thing you could do is at least review a few musicians. But alas bloggers are delicate narcissists whose fingers can’t type on a keyboard too long and the work is just oh so difficult.

So since I have a work ethic, and so do other people on this blog. WE WILL REVIEW your music, and we will give artists the platform to VOICE THEIR OPINIONS.

Because everybody knows at the end of the day, those who cannot do, can always blog.

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