Picks of the Week: 10/22/16

On this weeks little treasure trove adventure, we’ll discuss some experimental stabs from Poppy, a world internet phenomenon, and taking a break with a fictional video game soundtrack afterwards with Equip. Before we start, this week’s primary pick has to go to Prism Lite’s rendition to lo-fi hip hop instrumentals. Let’s take a gander!

Elements by Prism Lite (2016), courtesy of Mt. Fuji Tapes.

Prism Lite has primarily been a Soundcloud-exclusive artist with some obscure mini-releases on the side (like the short-lived サイバースペースSPEEDER) which are hard to come by if one hasn’t been an avid fan already. Things are different now with Elements, a loving tribute to vintage hip-hop instrumentals. There are two things that make this release stand out: the sampling choice and the overarching mood. Both bring a unique energy that is optimism rather than nostalgia towards the past and future of music.

“fly” by Prism Lite, courtesy of Mt. Fuji Tapes.

Take a listen to “fly” and hear the strings crescendo into this sparkling intro, the steady beat at the front of the mix and the time limit of the track being so short it leaves a welcoming desire for more. More is what one gets with Elements, which can be purchased HERE.

3:36 (Music to Sleep To) by Poppy (2016), courtesy of her Bandcamp.

Maybe you heard it from a friend or have seen images of her or even her eerie videos, but Poppy has been both an internet and musical phenomenon these past few months due to her anonymous past and her current works under a similarly mysterious man dubbed Titanic. Well, it seems she’s more than what the eye meets, because her new self-release has to be one of the most interesting ambient albums right now. 3:36 (Music to Sleep To) has an obvious purpose from the title, it’s music to sleep to! The ambiance focuses on looping and frequencies to trigger the brain for sleep mode, and it makes for a great soundtrack for studying on the side.

“Telepathy” by Poppy, courtesy of her Bandcamp.

One track I may have to recommend from the rest is “Telepathy,” a simplistic yet rich ambient piece that plays on major keys to emote a sense of lightness and wonder. This is definitely one of the more “peppier” tracks from Poppy’s release, which you can find the rest of HERE.

I Dreamed of a Castle in the Sky by Equip (2016), courtesy of Dream Catalogue.

Equip is the talented work of Kevin Hein, the owner of Baro Records founded in Chigaco. This is not their first release however, as there is some very neat releases under his actual name (Gauze and Gauze II are some excellent electronic releases to get into). I Dreamed of a Castle in the Sky is a completely separate beast in the catalog, a concept of a fictional video game with heavy elements from Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy, and similar RPG-genre games.

“The Dream Begins [Outside the Gates]” by Equip, courtesy of Dream Catalogue.

Take a gander at “The Dream Begins,” with the ominous landscapes painted from the humming production giving way to this powerful drumming and synth work at the middle of the track. Find out more about Equip over on Dream Catalogue, HERE.

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