Soundclouds of the Underground: BPM LWR LVL Edition

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 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.

This Saturday will mark the summer finale of NYC’s BPM LWR LVL, an experimental party series at the Tribeca Grand Hotel. Since the season started, the weekly shindig has enjoyed sets by cutting edge acts like Mess Kid, Metro Boomin, Saint Pepsi, and Suicideyear. To prep you for the final festivities, we’ve included three select cuts from three different acts on this week’s roster.

Ghouls: “Hydraulic”

Who: Ghouls is a uniquely talented producer whose use of dark, dazed instrumentation and hip-hop-inclined percussion puts him in the same sphere as acts like Clams Casino and Balam Acab.

The Song: Here Ghouls crafts a hard, hypnotizing beat, employing synths that sound like the chimes of industrial pipes and aggressive drums. Ghouls sets himself apart in his ability to move all across the emotional spectrum, whether his beats are meant to give you pause or (in this case) just plain knock.

Current Project: See Ghouls at the party this weekend, and keep up with him otherwise on Facebook.

Chance The Rapper: “I Am Very Very Lonely” (Nire‘s Good Tho Bootleg)

Who: A producer/DJ whose made her name playing strong sets across the city (recently closing out the Red Bull Music Academy Festival), Nire’s production is a force to be reckoned with, as can be observed through the handful of edits and remixes she’s released, including her dizzying take on Björk’s “Unravel” or her semi-hardstyle version of Cam’Ron’s “Get Em Girls.”  

The Song: Nire chooses to transform Chance The Rapper & The Social Experiment’s laidback “I Am Very Very Lonely” into a melancholic club anthem, adding cinematic synths and drum & bass backbeat to the track, taking full advantage of Chance’s wonderfully eccentric vocal stylings.

Current Project: Catch Nire’s set this weekend, and find out more about her via her website.

Lee Bannon: “Tough Is Time”

Who: If you’re a New York rap fan, you’ve likely heard budding MC Joey Bada$$‘ “Hilary Swank,” a rhyme-filled frenzy featuring a jazzy beat by Sacramento’s Lee Bannon. The track is just a small taste of Bannon’s capabilities, whereas tracks like his footwork remix of Miguel’s “Simple Things” hint at his versatile vision and musical range.

The Song:
“Tough Is Time” could very well have a verse from Bada$$ or any of the Pro Era crew, but it’s so calmingly beautiful that letting it breathe on its own may be the best option. A flurry of old school drums and what sounds like an echoing water drop keep the track moving, while the dithering opera sample swings back and forth.

Current Project: LB will headline the night—read (and listen) up on the artist via his Facebook.

Soundclouds of the Underground runs every Thursday. For more, click here.