ABOVE: RYAN HEMSWORTH. PHOTO COURTESY OF JAKE CHURCHILL
These days, music truly lives online, with an infinite number of websites dedicated to hosting tunes for the laptop-wielding masses. However, the web's bottomless pit of blogs isn't the only place to troll for mp3 treasures—some of the newest and most exciting (Internet-friendly) artists can be sought out via Soundcloud, the online stage that allows musicians to promote and distribute their music to fans and friends across the globe. In this weekly column, expert Internet sleuth Alex Chapman goes deep into the depths of the music-sharing site, in hopes of shedding light on emerging acts, as well as sharing some digital diamonds in the rough.
Although we admit we are on the better-equipped side of internet users, we are most definitely not alone—tons of cool kids are skilled handlers of the world wide web and all its musical gems. This week, it felt right to hand things over to the ever-talented (and digitally inclined) producer Ryan Hemsworth for the week. Check out all his recommendations below!
Hi, I'm Ryan Hemsworth—from the Internet. A big part of producing, playing shows, DJing, or just being in tune with music is scouring the Internet for the newest stuff. Soundcloud has become an integral part of keeping ahead of the curve for DJs; the better you are at finding new shit, the more unique your sets are, and overall you're just like, a really cool person. I don't know if that's true, I'm not cool, but I imagine that's how it works or something. Anyway, here's three fresh songs from some of my favorite underground producers—tracks I like to play out at shows, or sit at home and cry to.
Yung Sherman & Haydn: "Shut It Down"
Who: Sherman is the main producer behind the Sad Boys 2001 movement, who are some emotional shawties straight out of Stockholm, Sweden. He is to rapper Yung Lean what 40 is to Drake—someone who needs to be in the kitchen at all times that Lean is. These kids are young as a bastard (all still teens) and it's refreshing and something to be celebrated. A lot of people hate it. So it goes.
The Song: I just realized that 40/Drake metaphor is really about to make sense right about now. This is a (low-key) remix of "Shut It Down" from Drizzy's debut album Thank Me Later. It isn't credited that way in the title, so let's send up three prayers to the Internet gods that this isn't removed from Soundcloud in the next 36 hours. As with everything Yung Sherman puts his hands on, it's a dream. Super slow-winding, tip-toeing across cotton clouds, every emotional element squeezed until it's dripping purple cough syrup on the ground. Really: please don't let this be removed from Soundcloud in the next 36 hours.
Current Project: Keep up with the whole Sad Boys movement by checking out Yung Lean's Facebook page.
Rook Milo: "Cobalt Polo"
Who: I bookmarked this Soundcloud link a few days ago, returned to it this morning and his whole artist page was gone. So, it's been a little difficult to find out much about the kid. Originally going by the name Mosey, he's now operating as Rook Milo, out of Vancouver, BC. I'm always pumped when a new Canadian producer emerges with a weird, fresh sound, without a big crew behind him. He does give a shout-out, though, in the liner notes of his EP 2KO, which reads: "Thanks to my dealer for making this all possible."
The Song: All of Rook Milo's stuff that I've found is mixed bright (sonically), giving it this crystallized vibe that you can find in production from Rustie or Lapalux. He's not a clone, though. I get the feeling he makes some of his stuff, like "Cobalt Polo," with a smile on his face. Everything is playful, from the kitchen-sink percussion to the descending Gameboy synth lines, to the Busta Rhymes "YAOWW" shouts peppered throughout. It's just fun, sounds great on the ears and has a thought-out dynamic to it. It's the kind of stuff I love playing in my sets—it gets people dancing even when they aren't familiar with the track they're hearing.
Current Project: Rook Milo stays elusive, but you can find out a tiny bit more about the artist by lurking his Tumblr page.
Who: Cristian Quirante is a producer from Barcelona going by the name Alizzz. Three Zs feels so right for the type of music this guy's making for some reason. Spanish producer Mwëslee runs the label Arkestra Discos, responsible for artists like Alizzz, BFlecha and a few other Spanish oddities. Everything produced by Alizzz and this crew gets me in the mood to boot up my Super Nintendo.
The Song: This is the opener and title track from Alizzz's Whoa! EP that just dropped last month. It's such a great feeling when you press play and fall in love. The very first thing you hear is a super mellow synth pad that is very reminiscent of the song from the "Dire, Dire Docks" level from Super Mario 64. This lasts for a few seconds until the track takes off like a rocket. Out of nowhere we're attacked by bubbles, lasers, flangers, rappers yelling, and 808 snares. I've been playing this out a lot and when it drops into the heavy part, it's fun to watch people in the crowd react like their parents walked around the corner with a Dairy Queen ice-cream cake in their hands. Birthday party vibes in the club. So good.