Things have been rough for everyone lately. We could all use a little pick me up. Something to be excited about and take our minds off everything going on in the world. To fill that need, we’ve got a fresh edition of Focus Five. As always we’ve rounded up five of our favourite new finds. From cinematic ambient vibes, to filthy freeform bass, bangin’ bass house and next level future beats, we’ve got it all. Dive in below.
You can choose to see just the negative aspects of the current situation, or you can also see all the little good things that are happening anyway. Fugue is definitely one of these. He has been a wonderful discovery in these difficult times, a sun beam that has brightened my quarantine days. Trust me when I say this underrated Italian producer is what you need to create a healthy and relaxed atmosphere in your house. All his songs feature a gorgeous ambient touch that wraps up your mind in a warm hug made of lush landscapes, framed with a veil of melancholy that doesn’t hurt at all. But that’s not all. His compositions are also always characterized by a driving groove that, as a gentle breeze, drives you through these idyllic visions. Enjoy the ride!
Despite being around for a few years gaining some recognition with his trap and future bass productions, HYPRESSION only landed on our radar when scoring a collaboration with Jauz on the latter’s debut album. Since then, the Russian producer has found a welcome home on Bite This! where he has grown into a unique sound that is sure to make him a household name soon enough. ‘On Fire’ gave fans a first taste into the sinister bass house signature that HYPRESSION has come to champion, before his Cold Blood EP really set the benchmark for his quality productions. Recently returning from a hiatus with the impressive ‘Goes On’ and the promise of more to come soon, we’re excited about what the future holds from the up-and-coming producer. In a time where bass house is often repetitive and boring, HYPRESSION is doing just the opposite, so don’t sleep.
Spearheading the Finnish future beats scene comes octn. With a few years in the game, octn is a name you need to know. One listen to ‘Wiley2’ and you’ll know why. Taking the vocals from the Godfather of grime’s ‘100% Publishing,’ the talented producer crafts an infectious banger with more bounce than a trampoline. If you’re looking for something deeper and more engrossing, ‘dive’ has you covered. The sounds is somewhere between olswel and Cashmere Cat with its own unique spin. octn is also just as at home crafting relaxing, smooth beats as they are creating straight slaps (see ‘trials (w/ inimicvs)’). Versatility and impeccable talent, what more could you ask for?
A Chicago resident and frequent accomplice of both Electric Hawk and Spicy Bois, Justin ‘Sangmin’ Lee is known for bringing the womp. Producing and performing an eclectic profundity of experimental leftfield bass under the moniker SAGZ, Lee first made an entrance into the scene with collaborative release ‘Hourglass’ and the preceding Fused EP alongside fellow Chicago-native Osis. Now toting a full-fledged flavor unique to his own, SAGZ has continued making headway in his quest of the audible domain, exploiting low-frequency basslines and peculiar sampling as emblematic components of his signature sound, while a keen ear for acoustic layering lends a perceptible depth and tactility in each of his releases.
Soundscapes & slaps. If I were to have to describe sugoi in two words that would be it. sugoi’s work is that perfect balance between melodic and hard-hitting. Some releases feel deeply rooted in nature and ancient culture, while others are incredibly futuristic and feel as if they take place on a distant planet. Fusing elements of trap, future bass and future beats with a cinematic flair makes sugoi’s work engrossing and impressive. From ‘planet19’ to ‘atom dance,’ ‘ethereal’ and ‘matrix,’ every track is pristine. If you’re in need of vibes that also knock, sugoi is what you’ve been searching for.
Words by Alessio, Colin, Sam & Steph