Wun Two’s “Penthouse” Reflections

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Image from Wun Two’s Bandcamp page

With saturation occurring in the Instrumental Hip-Hop movement, it’s hard to discover the essential go-to figures that could lead you on to the bandwagon. There’s much more music on platforms such as SoundCloud and YouTube that could lead you the wrong way or right path.

When it comes to the right artist, the listener could naturally tell who’s content is good or bad. Impressively, German beat producer Wun Two has been keeping a steady streak of positivity from his fans since his inception in 2012. After his project, whale EP, the producer has been slowly assembling beat tapes in his Bandcamp and SoundCloud page for the world to hear.

Penthouse was released by the end of 2014, and besides his silence EP released two years prior, this may be my personal favorite from him. His beat tapes serve the legacy of the Jazz legends such as Bill Evans and Chet Baker. He’ll sometimes use familiar Jazz works as viable samples, and other times use foreign sounds to further enhance his knowledge of the genre.

Penthouse is as jazzy as you can get when it comes to sampling. Wun Two samples the standard piano keys and harmonious female background vocals that strikes the mind with recognizable Jazz sounds. These samples are then layered by a lo-fi aesthetic and the standard MPC snares and drums.

Each of these tracks shares a pattern of the samples and MPC tools that repeat and top each over throughout the whole track, which is why this is such a simple listen. You could recognize all the polyphonic sounds that are going on without too much speculation.

The project consists of twenty-one tracks with malleably short durations, with some tracks lasting barely over two minutes, as others may run for under a minute. With each of his works, including this project, the main bondage between all the tracks is the theme they all exude.

I don’t have to focus on the thumbnail of the black cat staring out into the night sky to understand that this is a very nocturnal listening session. From the first beat, Welcome, I feel the airy serenity of the piano chord sample and drum layers. The beat itself twinkles with the feel of quietness and content. The room may be dark, with papers scattered across the slick and polished tabletop, as the mug of coffee continues to simmer down to a cooled and chilled cup of liquid.

My favorite track off this EP is entitled Pool Dice Medallion, which features fellow German beat producer Hubert Daviz. There is a sonorous rhythm that seeps through the added snare drums and a quiet but noticeable drum shaking added to the mix. Compared to the rest of the beats here, this flows quite well, being one of the last tracks of the project.

This project takes pleasure in minimalism and takes quietness to its consistent advantage. Staring at the glow of your laptop past midnight while everyone in your household is sound asleep, as you sit next to the open window and feel the cool breezes swift through and caress the side of your arm. This project evokes the sedentary images that we can all use once in a while.

 

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