In honor of Flash Drive #1, let's take a look at two brand new Circuitree releases.
This is a split release with electronic music staple Schematic, their first in quite some time. Strangelet Value is smooth from top to bottom. Circuitree even calls it "creamy" on their website ("the creamiest," actually) and that works too. Reminiscent of Dilla and Madlib in that it's got a post-hip-hop sensibility (slick beats reigning in ambient exploration) but even further away from the source (rap music) than either of those guys ever go. Circuitree sells this as resonating with previous incarnations of IDM and we don't really know shit about that, but, yeah, this is twitchier than hip-hop instrumentals. And it sure is pleasant. Seems like Jacques is a bit of a multi-instrumentalist, pairing fluttering trumpet and piano melodies with no-nonsense drum machine and all sorts of warm synthesizer action.
An overall more hectic experience than Strangelet Value, Nived-N-Hydro's debut CD-EP Crow Kids documents a running dialogue between producer Hydroplane and MC Nived3rdEyeMonster. Neither the raps nor the instrumentals are platforms for the other, but are instead engaged in a bit of musical give and take. Hydroplane flexes his glitch-pop pedigree and Nived matches the generally spastic audio with a creeping, slithery, well-pronounced cadence that it isn't quite thug, nerd, backpacker or, really, anywhere on the existing contiuum of hip-hop vocalists. All the synthetic bells and whistles get pulled out and a couple numbers ("Shooting Star" in particular) seem to take a (well appreciated on our end) page from straight up pop music.
And what attractive art on both of these discs! Both are courtesy of Madeira Projects. Gotta appreciate the slip cases in lieu of jewel cases too. Nice work, Circuitree. Looking forward to this Friday.