Patch TK – Jazzhop lofi for a warm and breezy night [Review]

Hailing from Australia, Patch TK delivers Jazzhop lofi for a warm and breezy night, a vinyl-soaked instrumental driven by a tempting acoustic bass line. The delicate arrangement is filled with warm keys and lofi improvisations. A really soothing track to enjoy while drinking a special redbush, and with a hint of vanilla, cup of tea. Enjoy below!

Make sure to follow our spotify Playlist feat. Patch TK !

akilbeatsdenver – Intrinsic [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

healing, energizing, smooth

Each song of intrinsic is titled after a vitamin. What is the story behind it? Tell us a few things about this album.

#musicismedicine is the mantra for the project. music has an interesting and powerful way of helping the brain retain information. i can recite rhymes or sing songs that i was introduced to decades ago. because of this unique aspect of music, and my desire to help healing, i was drawn to the idea of the project being nutritional for the mind body and soul. i imagined conversations around songs by using their title, either sparking curiosity, “where do i get/what’s the importance of thiamin” or subconsciously increasing a desire to be aware of what we ingest, without it being too directive.

Is music a form of healing?

absolutely, in a way that’s very unique, it changes brainwaves, and even cymatics shows that there are physical properties to sound that can create order and harmony.

We really loved the beats in this album, really chill and smooth. We are wondering, which is the best broken beat you wish you had composed yourself?

firstly thank you so much for taking the time to listen, i really do appreciate it. there are so so many, what immediately came to mind was havoc of mobb deeps’ “trife life”. it never gets old and the way the filtered loop of the song “you are my starship” by norman connors creates that muddled bassline is just hypnotic.

What does hip hop symbolise in your opinion?

it’s an expression of the voice of the unheard or unseen, and has morphed over time into the predominant global forefront of culture and individuality.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

bet on yourself, no one is coming to save you, no one has your best interest in mind more than you do.

One last thing we should know about you?

i’m really proud of this project, i am going to continue to create of course! i’m also focusing on placements for movies, tv shows, commercials, content. the vibe of intrinsic is one that i think works well for visual media as background or definitive. i’m excited to see where this journey takes me, i already feel accomplished by being vulnerable and giving a chance for the world to hear my compositions. if someone can listen to intrinsic and it improves mood, or get an extra hour of study in, a couple more miles on the bike trail or finally finishing the dishes and laundry, accompanying drinks by the fire or daydream music on a long drive to the mountains, i will have completed my mission!

Thank you!

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V-Train – Lo-Fi Sensation [Interview]

Tell us a few things about your new work titled Lo-fi sensation.

Lo-fi Sensation is my third album. It contains 10 tracks, each one stand out on their own with unique sounds, beats and melodies. I wanted to have a mix of Hip-Hop and Jazz since there are no rappers on my songs which allows me to be more creative. The album also features the debut of my new Akai MPC One, the latest addition of my studio. You can hear it’s effects though the chopping of vocals and sampled melodies.

Which is the most gentle lo-fi melody you wish you had composed yourself?

I wish I composed The Righteous Way to Go by 9 th Wonder. I always love digging through samples and figuring out how to incorporate them in my music. The way that 9 th Wonder was able to fit a sample so smoothly into a Hip-Hop beat is just incredible.

What is the story behind your name?

V-Train was a nickname when I was in middle school. I used to be a part of the youth in the boys and girls club where I would go to after school and during the summer for camp. One time, a counselor just randomly called me V-Train and everyone has been calling me that since. I decided to use the name as my artist name before I released my 1st album. I thought it was fitting for me ironically because I did love trains a lot when I was a kid.

Have you considered introducing lyrics to your music?

I did have lyrics in the fall on my second album “A Wandering Soul”. The artist was a professional singer, so she put her lyrical talent on that song by my request. Since then, I haven’t considered adding more lyrics in any future songs I have. Lo-Fi Hip-Hop rarely does have lyrics or voices in that matter which is what attracted me to the genre. It’s about the instruments and less about the lyrics.

Is Spotify the music industry’s new Gatekeepers?

I can see Spotify being the musical gatekeeper today, but I don’t know how long that will last. The music industry is always changing so who knows if it will still be the gatekeeper of music
today.

Which book should we read while listening to your music?

I highly recommend reading Dilla Time by Dan Charnas. It’s about the life of late Hip-Hop producer J Dilla and being considered one of the influencers of Lo-Fi Hip-Hop, I can’t think of any other book than this to read alongside my music.

Future plans?

I am planning on creating more albums and singles. I don’t plan on stopping. I also made a website that has my beats store for any rap artist or producer that wants to use my beats. I’m also working on sample packs and offering services like custom beats and mixing another artist song.

Thank you!

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V-Train – Sunset On The BLVD/Sunday Service [Interview]

Sunday Service has a lovely nostalgic vibe. Tell us a few things about it.

Thanks again Hip-Hop Paranoia for asking me this question. Sunday Service samples “Friends Let Me Tell You About Jesus” by the Dixie Aries that highlights the theme of the song of going to church and singing hymns. It is then followed by lo-fi pianos and bass. As a religious person myself, I wanted to create a lo-fi song that contains a religious theme. I found the sample in Tracklib. Tracklib is an excellent website for Lo-Fi Hip-Hop Producers like me who want to improve our craft of sampling music and getting legal licenses to use the samples in our music. With that, they also got a huge catalog of genres to sample from which is perfect for producers like myself to explore.

Sunset on the BLVD is seriously lofi. You have managed to maintain a consistent style throughout your music. How easy though is it to stick to a coherent idea and not be carried away?

It’s easy for me because there’s no other genre that I can really branch out to. When I first started with music, I was doing covers and posting on YouTube. Rock music is more of a team effort and EDM is vast and difficult to navigate for me. I was already familiar with R&B and Hip-Hop music from my late childhood to early teen years so after taking music production lessons, I’ve discovered I had a lot more fun with Hip-Hop production, but I can’t rap and don’t have any connections with rappers. Somehow, I stumbled across Lo-Fi girl on YouTube and discovered Lo-fi music and I just took off from there.

Do you accept the term study beat? Why is lofi used for studying?

I accept the term study beat for the lo-fi genre, but I think it can be used for multiple reasons. I would also accept other terms like relaxing beats, work beats or even jazz beats (Jazzhop or Chillhop). I think there are 3 big reasons why lo-fi is used for studying. There are almost no lyrics to the music which makes it easy for the listener to concentrate or relax. Lo-fi usually has a slow to medium tempo between 80 to 100 BPM which also increases the relaxing mood of the listener. Atmospheric pads and Vinyl record sounds are always associated with Lo-fi music and those sounds bring a certain mood to the listener by having them imagining themselves floating in space with the synth pads or reminiscing on what the past was like with the vinyl effects. In contrast to EDM that is fast and loud, Lo-fi Hip Hop does the opposite making it perfect for study music.

How would you describe your musical progress over the years?

An improvement. When I released my first album “My Quiet Room”, it was liked by friends, family, and people within my community, but it didn’t get much buzz and I was working with limited sounds. Then while I was working on my second album “A Wandering Soul”, I upgraded my DAWs, downloaded new sounds appropriate for lo-fi music and I’ve bought new gear including my new Akai MPC One Drum Machine. With the help of some friends, my music began to spread outside of the community and even in different countries. Right now I currently have almost up to 40,000 total streams on Spotify.

What first got you into music?

I was playing music all my life. After watching my mother play piano at home and at church, I started to follow in her footsteps as well as experimenting with all the different sounds and effects on the keyboard. My parents and teachers discovered that I like to keep a steady rhythm and though I would be perfect for the drums. So I would bounce back and forth between piano and drums. Eventually I would pick up the guitar and bass and things just took off from there.

Do you think there is a true underground hip hop sound today?

Absolutely. Hip-Hop since its conception has always been underground music. Even when it became mainstream and America’s #1 music genre, there are still cats like me making excellent bangers in the comfort of our houses. There’s also a major benefit working underground compared to mainstream like signing to a major label. When you’re underground you have complete control of your sound, and you get all the payments you wouldn’t get if you worked with a team hired by the industry. The underground Hip-Hop scene is a lot more versatile in my opinion which makes Hip-Hop unique. Today’s mainstream Hip-Hop music is mostly created with trap beats and mumble rapping. Don’t get me wrong, I like some of the current popular Hip-Hop songs of today, but I was raised in the 90s East Coast era, and I take pride in it. Most of the underground Hip-Hop sounds replicate the sounds of the 90s because I think most producers like myself missed how Hip-Hop was more about the message and creativity rather than making the same beat used by many other mainstream rappers.

What would be your dream performance venue?

I’m not into performing in big venues so I would be content in playing music in a small café.

When not writing music, how do you spend your time?

I love to play pinball. I’ve participated in local tournaments and have gotten some recognition. Currently I’m in the top 200 pinball players in Pennsylvania and I have a best friend who’s #1 in the state. He’s the one who got me into pinball. I also like to play video games to relax especially Call of Duty. Drawing and reading are my other favorite hobbies especially when the topic is Hip-Hop and producing. Currently I think I have over 10 books about Hip-Hop.

What is the best concert you have ever been to?

When I went to see Jacob Collier live in a Philly club, I was impressed to hear about this artist from England who is a multi-instrumentalist. After that experience, I’ve listed to all of his albums. I was disappointed that I couldn’t see him in concert this year but I hope he comes back to Philly soon.

Your dream collaboration?

I would like to collaborate and co-produce with DJ Premier if I ever get the chance. I really love his sound. It was and still is the pinnacle of Boom Bap Hip-Hop in my opinion.

Favorite music related film?

I haven’t watched much music related films, but I use to watch a lot of movies about Ludwig Van Beethoven when I practiced classical piano. The movie that stands out to me is Immortal Beloved. I think Gary Oldman portrays Beethoven well and I can relate to Beethoven in many ways in music and life’s struggles. I want to see Straight Otta Compton one day. Maybe sometime during the summer I’ll rent it from YouTube.

Thank you!

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V-Train – Cold World [Interview]

Cold World has very chill organic sound. What is the story behind it?

I created the song using a sample from the song “mélange” by the Casual Brothers and Alya. I was excited because after I upgraded to Cubase Artist, I discovered a method to separate the instruments from the vocals. I decided to use that method on the sample to make it fit in to my song, and I was pleased with the results. Then to make the music more interesting, I included a sax solo near the end of the song as an excellent way to fade out along with the music. I decided to base the theme of this song on my feelings and everyone else’s when we are bombarded 24/7 with bad news from our news outlets. With so much going on in the world, it causes many people including myself to retreat from the world and try to find solace in whatever calms us down. To add a visual emotion that represents the song, I added a picture a I drew years ago of a beautiful woman shedding a tear. The picture combined with the song was a response to the events that occurred in 2020 with the Covid pandemic and the race-riots but interestingly, this single came out around the same time the Russia-Ukraine thing was becoming an issue. I didn’t plan on it, but the situation really reinforced the theme of the song.

Is it an extra challenge to promote instrumental music?

I think that promoting instrumental music is starting to become less of a challenge thanks to the internet and streaming services. Back then, it would really be a challenge to promote instrumental Hip Hop music because Hip Hop has always been associated with rap. I don’t think I can remember any Hip Hop producer that has acquired fame from their instrumental pieces unless they were J Dilla or Madlib. Nowadays with streaming services becoming more available, it opens the floodgates for upcoming producers like myself to get our songs played on different streaming services. Lo-Fi Hip Hop is the perfect subgenre to listen to for simple tasks like working a desk job, doing chores, or just relaxing. Since these tasks happen almost every day, it increases the likelihood of someone playing a lo-fi track while they are doing these activities. A friend of mine told me that he always plays my music whenever he’s working because it helps with his concentration because the songs are instrumental, and he doesn’t have to be distracted by the lyrics.

What is your favorite (analog or digital) synth?

The Roland FA-08 synthesizer workstation is my favorite analog synth because it is my primary tool of creating music. It has 2,000 sounds installed and many more when I connect it to my laptop as a MIDI controller. It also has a list of other cool features like sampling pads, a solo synth that acts like a theremin and an arpeggio and chord option that leads you create your own ideas.

Favourite album of the past year?

Djesse Vol. 3 by Jacob Collier was my favorite album this past year. I admire Jacob Collier as a musician because he is innovating as a jazz artist. He finds a way to make Jazz listenable to the mainstream audience by collaborating with rappers and other artist who don’t have a similar background as him. Despite that, they blend really well to his music, and I think it might create more possibilities for Hip Hop/Jazz fusion in the future.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as an artist so far?

My biggest challenge as an artist has been promoting my music. Right now, as I answer this question, I grew up to 1000 followers on Spotify. Before that, it wasn’t easy because I was a new artist and I had little experience on how to promote music. After I’ve uploaded my first album “My Quiet Room”, they only advice I was given was to submit my music to different curators. While I was submitting my music, I’ve also learned the other challenge I had as a new Lo-Fi artist was that I had little experience with the subgenre. I guess that is why not many curators accepted my album because I would get lots of feedbacks stating that the tracks were too long, the mix was below average, and the music didn’t exactly sound like Lo-Fi. Although it didn’t affect my goals, it did make me consider if I should continue producing. Rather than calling it quits, I took a curator’s advice and found different ways to make my music sound better as I continue to grow as an artist. It paid off because after the release of my second album, I’ve been receiving a lot more attention which increased my followers.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Always hold on to Jesus and persevere no matter what. You won’t see success when you first put your mind into your passions but overtime you will learn how to improve and then you will get better and better. As that happens, a lot of people will notice and will reach out to you to help you along your journey. As they do, you will help them out in return and inspire others along the way.

One last thing we should know about you?

I offer my talents voluntary at my local church. I always love to provide assistance in music whenever I can.

Thank you!

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Sam CD – 3 Suites [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

beats for nerds

Your music has an experimental vibe. What is your creative process like?

If I have something in mind I will try to put it on paper, but if not I will try to build off of a transcription of an existing work, usually jazz, sometimes classical, as a starting point. All of these tracks were made while commuting to and from work over the course of a few years.

Do you like the idea of collaborating? Is songwriting a lonely process?

All music is collaboration, at the very least between creator and listener. It shouldn’t be a lonely process I don’t think.

Main influences?

Hip hop (beatmakers especially… Alchemist, Kanye West); eccentric classical (Stravinsky, Debussy); jazz piano (Dave Brubeck); movie scores; randomness

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as an artist so far?

Having to get a job

In which state of mind do you imagine people might listen to your music?

contemplative, cooling out, zoning out

What is the most useless talent you have?

They’re all pretty useless but I was a tour guide in Paris for some time, so I could tell you some cool facts about French history which are likely false.

Thank you!

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V-Train – A Wandering Soul [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Chill, Sad, Hopeful

Tell us a few things about your album A Wandering Soul. What is the main idea behind it?

“A Wandering Soul” is my second album with Lo-fi Hip Hop as the main genre. Each song describes the different moods I’ve felt in the past. They range from sadness and rejection to happy and hopeful. While only one song contains lyrics, you can still understand the feelings each song is trying to convey based on the tile and the sounds presented in each song.

Which song of the album reflects you the most?

The more I think about it, I think the song “Gloomy Morning” reflects me the most. I’ve frequently struggled with Anxiety and Depression and the feeling of waking up every morning to those emotions has been difficult. As a good dose of medicine, I create this song that expresses the feeling of waking up and dreading the challenges they new day may bring but encouraging myself to persevere and have the strength to move forward. Something not only to encourage myself but to encourage others.

Artists and people who have influenced and inspired you?

My mother was and is my main inspiration. She was a very talented piano player and I’ve grown up watching her practice every day on the keyboard for church. When she’s not playing, I would experiment on the keyboard. She also noticed that I could keep a good rhythm and encouraged me to play the drums. Eventually I would play the drums for my church and my school. She has passed away 3 years ago and every music I create is to remember her and her legacy. As for artists, I’ve been mainly inspired by J Dilla as he is considered the godfather of Lofi Hip Hop and other producers like Timberland, 9th Wonder and the Alchemist.

What would you change in the music industry?

I don’t know if I would change much in the music industry but I think that the streaming services should pay the artists a little more money for their music.

If you were asked to rescore a film, which one would you choose?

I think I would rescore the Spider-Man film “Into the Spider Verse”. I feel this movie is perfect for my music since the setting is New York. The center of East Coast Hip Hop and Miles Morales seems like a chill dude. I cam imagine him listening to Lo-Fi music while he’s studying.

What is the most useless talent you have?

Singing. I can sing decently well but I’m not too confident in including my vocals in any of my songs. Also I’m not great at remembering the lyrics even to my favorite songs and since I play so many instruments, it is not a talent I would ever focus on or need.

Thank you!

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Perttu Leinonen – I Found It [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Unrefined, autumn, passage

Tell us a few things about your new song “I Found It”. What is the story behind it?

“I found it” is a part of 3 album collection, Eyes closed, Hidden and mind open.
I found it is in the Hidden album. Story so far tells about death of a friend and how life felt during the Corona isolation and how I get over it. It was written as kind of healing music for people that might find help from knowing that they are not alone in their feelings.
“I found it” starts the passageway out of the noise and dark industrial world towards musical world where Eyes closed album ended. There are still shadows hanging in the Hidden theme, but we are quite close to musical world.

Do you like the idea of collaborating? Is songwriting a lonely process?

Yes, I l would love to collaborate. I found incredible singer Llany Arias who has been very central part for most of the releases. It keeps you grounded when you work with real people. There just isn’t that many people out there interested in experimenting, it takes loads of time and effort to do something properly. And yes, songwriting is lonely process. And really weird process where you are writing for the future that you can not predict.

Favourite album of the past decade?

Forest Agates from Deca. It is really difficult to find new music, but I listened what he had to say and liked the message and production.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as an artist so far?

Everything has a cost. I produce everything alone and each sound has a price tag.
I was lucky to get good master for this one, but to keep costs low you need to learn to mix and master. It is mind numbing equation if you are just producing art and got no sales.

Which book should we read while listening to your music?

Nine Princes in Amber from Roger Zelazny.

You’d give up making music for…

Could start doing game or movie music, but giving up music is no option

Thank you!

Carter Fox – M87 [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Chill Space Beats

Tell us a few things about your new song “M87”. What is the story behind it?

The song is really a celebration of how far we all have come…as a species, as a society, as people. It celebrates the release of the first-ever picture of a black hole. A REAL black hole. Einstein had theorized about them a hundred years earlier, but to observe one in real life was yet to happen. The Event Horizon Telescope’s global team of astronomers, engineers, and scientists forever changed how we view our place in the universe, and it’s a beautiful thing to realize there is just so much more out there. When I saw the picture when it was released in April 2019, I went into my studio full of inspiration and the basis for this song was created. I asked my good friend Steve Honz (who I play with in Freddie Jackson’s backing band and in a group called JUTAUN) to add his synth and piano specialties onto it and what emerged is this wonderful piece of music.It’s a wonderful way to follow up the success of my song Eclipse (about, well, an eclipse!) that has almost 2,000,000 streams across platforms!

Do you like the idea of collaborating? Is songwriting a lonely process?

I enjoy collaborating and have been fortunate enough to work with some truly amazing artists as a songwriter, producer, and musician. But I do also enjoy creating on my own. It’s not that it’s ‘lonely,’ but there is something to taking yourself into a different plane of mind and soul and to come back with something new and unique like new music often is. Plus, you can be a little more truthful with yourself, though the hope is to share that truth with the world through collaboration and releasing music anyway.

Who is your favourite beat maker?

I have many and the top of the list is Dr Dre, J Dilla, Nujabes, and Flying Lotus, and some of the new generation like OddKidOut, the Kount, Kaelin Ellis, and Thelonious Monk.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as an artist so far?

That’s an interesting question. I think staying confident in myself and my music has been the most challenging thing. I remember someone I once worked with saying ‘Even if you don’t believe in yourself, believe in the people who believe in you.’ Maybe he was inspired by Gurren Laggan’s Kamina, but it’s still true. So, when I feel down on myself or uninspired, I remember it’s not just me. My music has evolved since I’ve started making it 15 or so years ago and I’m so glad to have found such great fans and friends to support my journey.

If you were asked to rescore a film, which one would you choose?

It may be a little ‘on brand’ for my stuff but I’d definitely love to do that with Interstellar. Not that it wasn’t good music, but just to have fun with the feelings and visuals!

What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?

To be honest, I don’t think I’ve gotten into too much trouble. I mean… I guess more correctly is I haven’t gotten caught with said trouble (knocks on wood). But when I was a teenager at lacrosse camp, I thought it was a great and hilarious idea to pull a prank on one of the coaches who was stricter with us (but not mean… just strict). After it happened and everyone had a good laugh, I got in SO MUCH trouble from my parents. Even the coaches were like ‘don’t be that mad at him’, but I learned my lesson…. Don’t try to show off doing something stupid like that… not everyone thinks it’s as funny as you… (laughs out loud)

Thank you!

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DARGZ – Lou’s Tune [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Groovy Good Times

Tell us a few things about your new song “Lou’s Tune”. What is the story behind it?

I had recorded Moses Boyd’s LP Dark Matter and gotten chatting with ihm about recording a bunch of different break beats, grooves, samples and the first stages of Lou’s Tune were created. There was a particularly beat he played that got me thinking of a melody. I then added some bass, strings, flute and brought it all home with a vocal sample.

Do you like the idea of collaborating? Is songwriting a lonely process?

I love the idea of collaborating. I started my musical career in a band The Postelles which started when I was 13 so I’ve always created alongside other people. It’s inspiring to hear other peoples’ stories, favourite music, and particular flavors they bring to the creative process.

Who is your favourite beat maker?

These days I’ve been in love with pretty much everything producer Inflo does (Sault, Little Simz, Jungle), big fan of DJ Dahi as well as the all-time greats like Q-Tip, Sly Stone, and Joni Mitchell (whose rhythms were so interesting I consider her a beatmaker!)

What would be your dream performance venue?

As a New Yorker, Madison Square Garden is the mecca so any insane scenario that saw me on stage there would be amazing.

Favorite music related film?

Tom Hanks’ That Thing You Do is my favourite music film because it captures the magic of an act in the early days just trying to figure things out.

What is the most useless talent you have?

For awhile I thought my clarinet playing was pretty unusable during my indie-rock days however I’m starting to come around to thinking I could get back into it and use it on an upcoming DARGZ tune so maybe not so useless after-all.

Thank you!

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