As October ends we’re back with the 33rd installment of Focus Five. This month we’ve got some moody trap, a future beat beast, an artist defying genres, an experimental bass producer with some heavy hip hop influence, and a futuristic purveyor of vibes. Needless to say, you need to check them all out.
As the days get shorter and colder, it feels like it’s about that time for some moody trap shit. Enter the world of Delp. The Royal Collective member has all the dark trap sounds that you’re craving to get you through the winter. Crafting rich but ice cold soundscapes, the producer weaves in snapping drums and menacing 808s. Versatile but consistent, ‘Bound’ will have you bobbing your head and blowing Kush clouds, while ‘Muscle’ will get you puffing your chest out and throwing trap arms. Looking to further expand the palette? ‘Granite’ fuses regal leads with a gritty drill influence for a sound that feels luxuriously filthy. Put your hood up and rock to Delp.
If you’ve spent a wealth of your time diving into the underground trap and future beat scene, chances are that you’re familiar with godspeed. For those who have not, it’s well overdue. godspeed’s sample game is absolutely absurd. From DMX barks and Pharrell adlibs, to Ludacris verses and Wu-Tang freestyles, to cartoon sound effects, memes and fart sounds, you’re never quite sure what godspeed may throw into a track. The wildness of the sound is matched with the calibre of production that’s filled with precise percussion and brings an abundance of knock. Tracks like ‘come on’ and ‘throw some’ put godspeed on the map, but recent collabs with aedfx. and yugi boi x DILIP are taking the artist to new heights. The latter is an absolute trap monster that combines stirring strings, emotive undertones and exotic layers with a gritty knock. If you’re looking for some gems, godspeed’s SoundCloud is a diamond mine.
You all are expecting some haunting and gothic vibes today, am I right? Fine, let’s listen to some samba instead. Yes. Samba, with a pinch of Portuguese lyrics and a good dose of tight sound design. I’m not making this up randomly, I’m simply listing some of the surprises you’ll find in The Snatch Tape, the latest release from my pick for this edition of Focus Five: Mike Snatchers. Unlike in pretty much every other edition of this column, where I’ve featured the artists only after following their steps for a while, with Mike I completely trusted my instinct. In fact, before he emailed me a week ago, I’ve never heard of him. Once I blasted the Tape in my headphones a single time though, my spider-sense was already quivering. Personally, I don’t care that he’s mostly doing very short tracks (none over 3 minutes), all that matters to me is that he’s not playing safe. Every piece, even if it’s just a beat, is perfectly crafted down to the tiniest details to be unique. There’s so much to enjoy that I haven’t decided what I love most about him yet. It would be his effervescent creativity? His fantastic sound design? I have the feeling that I’ll have plenty of time to think about it following his rise.
Philadelphia-native Timmy Walker has swiftly garnered respect for the abstract soundscapes, distorted bass frequencies, and subtle hip hop influences he concocts under the alias Mindset. Retaining an exhaustive list of collaborations alongside the likes of Tsimba, tiedye ky, and FRQ NCY, as well as an extensive repertoire of self-captained originals and a slew of remixes, Mindset maintains a nearly seamless fluidity between projects, while consistently striving for innovation in each of his works. Keep an eye out for Mindset as he continues to test the boundaries of his sound.
Thorjn‘s introduction to the world came in June of 2019 with the laid-back ballad titled ‘June.’ The track, which can be described as a groovy, lo-fi leaning melodic bop, set the stage for the subsequent singles that furthered this unique style of pairing ethereal soundscapes and crisp bass undertones. Since then, Thorjn has impressed with the rapid diversification of his sound and ceaseless ingenuity. From ‘Ochre’ alongside Gater to the more recent ‘Careful,’ Thorjn has quickly evolved into a producer capable of defying genre boundaries in the span of a single track, reminiscent of Ekcle in style yet unique enough to stand out on its own. Instead of trying to do it justice with words, we recommend you dive into Thorjn’s short yet impressive discography with no expectations, as each track will provide a different experience than the last.
Words by Alessio, Colin, Sam & Steph