SoundCloud Spotlight (March 2016)

Hailing from my homestate of Maryland (funny enough about 20 minutes from me), we have a DJ/producer named Stafa. I found him through King Benjo, another DJ/producer that is part of what may be referred to as the Vaporwave Scene. Vaporwave focuses on sampling jazz, orchestral, R&B, and funk tunes and combining them with 808’s to create a lo-fi, euphoric, and raw sounding style of music. Stafa is what many would call a “hidden gem”. He only has 149 followers at the time of this post, but his style and artistic ability reflects something much greater. He only has 7 tracks posted as of now, but is planning on releasing a beat tape in the near future. The first track I would like to focus on is his first posted track, A. A is a perfect example of how an orchestral violin section can be transformed into a electronic powerhouse for a song. The same violin rhythm repeats, but seems to never get old. A also is self aware of this repetitive nature as it is only 1 minute and 38 seconds long. A is a simple song, consisting of about 3 parts: drums, synths, and violin. Though simple in concept, it is a pleasure for the ears. An easy listen that seems to turn off the outside world and give the listener a lens into a simpler time. The second track I would like to focus on is S. S is Stafa’s most listened to song, and for a good reason. S is clearly well thought out and is a great introduction to Stafa’s uniqueness. S is complex in structure but still gives off a simplistic vibe. That is what draws my ear to Stafa, his ability to create simplicity out of complexity. A contrasting statement I know, but in order to understand it, you must listen to Stafa. S represents Stafa as an artist and as a person. I asked Stafa “How do you compose your pieces? What sparks an idea?” His response:

My music is usually based on my mood. I usually try to live my life positive, so I can dish out positive pieces. I could sit down forever and make music endlessly. I just need to be in a good mood. I try to stand out from everyone else by adding my own personality. My music is an embodiment of who I am, and I want my first impressions to be good.

Stafa stays true to himself, he is not flashy nor egotistical. He wants to convey a positive attitude to his listeners through his music. To that I say kudos, you have perfected your craft. Go give Stafa a listen and a follow, the attitude of his music will surely be a part of yours.

 

Peace and Love,

R.S.


Ash Koosha’s GUUD is singular. You are not supposed to pick out specific tracks nor are you supposed to listen to it in sections. It is electronic music with which you have to pay attention. You have to respect its layers and sounds that the listening experience as a whole is throwing at you. I think throwing, spraying or any similar verb is a pretty solid description of the experience. The glitch, sporadic amorphous sounds hit you with some force. His Bandcamp describes his process as ‘nano-composition’ in which he uses the naturally occurring fractal patterns of sound waves to create a new distorted sound. It sounds interesting and to be honest I don’t fully understand it based on that description. But I thoroughly enjoy his music.

The experience of GUUD is one of completion. Each musical passage or idea feels fully developed and excited. Yet, the album flows from idea to idea seamlessly. In terms of sound, it shifts from glitch-hop to synth driven to sample driven and in between. I would usually offer some comparisons but they would feel insufficient. Ash Koosha’s sound definitely falls in the IDM category although I would never dance to this stuff. The allure of the project for me is the esoteric synthesis of sounds that are new to electronic music. I can honestly say that this experience was a new one for me, which I think, is rare in a genre like IDM.

Although it is asking a lot, I recommend you listen to this thing… in its entirety. Don’t pick out tracks. Just sit and try out the full record. It will be worth it.

-MB

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