As April comes to a close we’re back with another installment of Focus Five. This month we’ve got an exceptional wave talent, a flip king, some bouncy future beat goodness, a producer spanning multiple genres with one exceptional project, and a bass-heavy beast of a producer. This month is a can’t miss as always. Get familiar.
Despite the fact that I’m the one who’s actually typing these words, the credits for this month’s discovery should be split in half between me and the members of the WAVECITY Facebook group. Populated by both artists and fans, it’s always an inexhaustible source of excellent music that I recommend everyone to check on a regular basis, but this time it really surpassed itself by introducing me to the magnificent repertoire of calicry. While she defines her style as just “emotional electronic music” (listen to her own words here), I dare to say that we’re talking about wave of the finest species. The one I love. Enigmatic, profound, alien, and at the same time extremely human. Being both a vocalist and a producer, her songs range from melancholic vocal ballads that truly shake you inside to mental and galvanizing instrumental compositions. Never predictable, hers is truly among the most refreshing sounds I’ve heard recently. Catch calicry on her own channels and with her releases on the iconic Sekai Collective.
Living up to his name, the Belgian producer was a true HYALYTE (highlight) of my recent SoundCloud binges. Developing a signature for flipping the familiar and giving it a new spin, he’s a master when it comes to bootlegs, edits, and remixes. His flip of Justin Bieber’s ‘Peaches’ is a certified summer bop that’s vibey, infectious, and warms your skin with each listen. Looking for something a little colder? ‘Chainz Riddim (Wile Out)’ pairs the icy keys and iconic vocals from 2 Chainz’s ‘Watch Out’ with an upbeat UKG energy. Feeling like some summery house grooves? ‘Moregirls’ mixes BBK’s ‘Too Many Men’ with a lavish and breezy backdrop that’ll transport you to a backyard party in Ibiza. If you love sampling and miss the golden era of SoundCloud, HYALYTE is your new favorite find. Dive into his 60+ track back catalog now.
Sometimes, Focus Five picks fall right on my lap. Other times, I need to go digging to find the right fit. While this month’s pick falls into the second category, there’s something truly rewarding about exploring the depths of SoundCloud and finding a hidden gem. Hailing from Viña del Mar, Chile, katala. landed on my radar through his association with fellow Chilean and previous FUXWITHIT feature mnstrm., and I knew he was worthy of this spot as soon as I pressed play on ‘falador’ alongside .noxe. Light airy melodies, a perfect balance of energy, and knocking drums that spice up the drop sections come together to form a quintessential FUXWITHIT trap classic. Diving into more of his repertoire showcases more of the same theme: incredibly bouncy tunes tailored to our audience, with his remix for L*o*J’s ‘Walk On The Bogo’ being a prime example. katala.’s got talent, don’t sleep.
We missed the mark not covering ninetyniiine’s SEROTONES back in February, so we’re making up for it with a showcase in this month’s Focus Five. The 7 track project is the perfect example of why the Californian is one to watch. From the beautifully upbeat and catchy opening bop ‘true,’ to the spacey and moody ‘wrist’ and funk-influenced ‘routine,’ ninetyniiine’s range is simply impressive. The project’s standout ‘little’ w/ downtime & soudiere is a menacing futuristic slap that sounds like a trip inside the mind of a sentient android gone off too much lean. Carve out 15 minutes bump SEROTONES and keep your eye out for ninetyniiine’s next moves.
Sporting some of the most forward-thinking sounds out of the UK in the current age, Vellum has been a name simmering in the underground for years now. I first caught wind of him from his titanic piece ‘Blunderbust’ which was released over 3 years ago and has been a continued rinse in the weekly rotation ever since. Since then, he’s only upped his sound design game further, sticking to his bass-heavy roots that incorporate saucy rap/grime-centric vocal samples while featuring even more robust, speaker-flexing low-end. His latest body of work, the Marvin EP released through Slug Wife, exceeded all earthbound expectations, demonstrating an uncanny knack for making some of the bounciest, wild grin-inducing pieces on the market. I’ve included both ‘Blunderbust’ and a mini-mix of Marvin as my example tracks, and I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Look for him to be making even bigger waves very very soon.
Words by Alessio, Alex, Colin & Steph