In the current era of expelling, hard-hitting beat patterns, and rhythmic tediums, there is another genre that lurks beneath the turbulent lifestyle of a young and rich provocateur leading his tribe of hard-headed rebels. This genre doesn’t excite the nerves to tense up and commit boisterous acts of violence but instead allows you to sit back with your feet up on your coffee table and enrich your rugged mind with peaceful drum beats and playful, art-house samples. No other artists of the post-Nujabes and J Dilla era innovate this movement better than German-born producer Wun Two, and Chicago-based beat-master, Coryayo. This is an essential listen to delve into blissful escapism from the modern hardcore integrations into nearly every commercial genre.
Wun Two had always been an obscure artist to listen to, especially when you’re young and full of vibrant angst. His beats are simple and short listening sessions. They would usually consist of simple drum pads or snares behind a pre-Bebop Jazz sample, mired to a seasonal picturesque cover on his Bandcamp page. Many of his beats tend to end no more than two minutes in. They are wired to repetition, drowsy sampling, and usually a single chord that envelopes the whole track as a distinct whole. These beats are easy listening and require no meditation or study, but work graciously. Wun Two’s music is a spacious oasis that forces the listener to reside in a space away from all the tribulations that invade the average mind, and just sit back and read a book or play some games.
Chicago native Coryayo serves in the same modicum when it comes to the style he portrays, but adds an American flare to it. His music transcends the drum pads and instead concentrates on one or two whole keynotes, usually enhanced by recognizable samples from Rap and Jazz music reigning before the Trap era of music. It would be expected that these two would share the same musical predispositions, being that at one time they both belonged to the hidden and esoteric German label, Radio Juicy. Although Coryayo recently had the chance to work with more spoken word artists and beat producers, this project nonetheless showcases both their similar talents with recognizable distinctions between the two crate diggers.
One of my favorite projects to listen to during the winter season is Wun Two’s Silence EP. I was already a fan of his by the time Waves came out, due to his many of his other seasonal projects. The thought of him conducting a Summer album with his label compatriot seemed like a good idea, both aurally and commercially.
My expectations were met with nimble grace and simple joy. This project is a collection of perfectly sampled and carefully added beat and chord tempos that add up to alleviating beat sessions that fervently represent typical Summer straddling. The tracks titles confess that with its simple tracks titles such as whale and lighthouse. Waves is a project that lets you stroll through the prairie grass fields of your nearest forest preserve, or walk on the concrete platform beside Lake Michigan.
When this project came out, I had just started my first lifeguarding job. With a fresh bottle of iced water and planting your feet into the warm concrete beside the glistening pool, the beats here synch in with those moments of sitting back and taking in that deep breath. Although, anything but laziness is what crafted these tunes. Tracks such as coastin and lighthouse are sampled by simple, exotic guitar melodies that blend well with simple MPC gliding to elicit a sunset boulevard type of vibration. The tracks breeze, and my personal favorite, wave, are sampled with just the right tonal inflections and reverberating background noise that just suits a Sunday afternoon at the beach under the breezy and warm weather.
When I listen to this project, I think about the moments of dull idling that a typical adolescent would be into anyways, when he has too much time in his hands and too little effort to care. The project itself twenty-two tracks of short vignettes that paint the picture of a typical sunny day away from your desk job or school work. Hence the Summer-themed tracks such as cape and wind. Each track ends quietly and transitions smoothly into the next session. There isn’t a moment of explosion or intensity throughout this project, of in their music in general. During periods of mind-numbing chaos with political and social strife being shoved down the people’s conscious, artists such as Wun Two and Coryayo serve as therapists from the hectic bashing. Their music allows you to lay back and take a sip of your can of beer, or straddle through the grass fields and fly the kite you kept stashed in your basement for years.