Coryayo ‘Pink Palace’ Review


Image Uploaded on Coryayo’s Bandcamp Page

Very few artists tend to find the initial sound that sets them off for commercial glory. Most of the time, an artist finds their sound through the process of trial and error, trashing and discovering, and so forth. After many uploaded projects and beat tapes, Chicago beat martyr Coryayo found the sound that could propel him further into his career. Cory Altenhofen appeared in the beat scene during the initiation of German-born label, Radio Juicy, and the ongoing craze for the Instrumental Hip-Hop subgenre.

Radio Juicy was the reservoir of underground beat makers and Jazz-heads that had a niche for quality sounding samples and boom-bap Hip-Hop. Their sounds a reminiscent of that of older Hip-Hop groups such as A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul. If you wanted to compare the sounds to any modern artist, L.A. producer Knxwledge would be a good comparison. Coryayo’s work in the label included his beat tape, Young Vibes, and his collaborative effort with Fooch the MC, entitled Strangers of Necessity.

Along with his other works included Blue World, 2000, and Ra.  All of his projects dissect their samples to the core, making the John Coltrane or Billie Holiday samples recognizable, all while adding the strategic Hip-Hop flare to them.

I first discovered Coryayo after becoming a fan of German producer Wun Two’s hypnotic Jazz samples and soulful sounds. Their collaboration effort, Waves EP, had a sound that was familiar with Wun Two’s soul entrancement but had a warmer, brighter vibe to it. By the time this was released, Coryayo had already been persistently releasing material on his Bandcamp and SoundCloud page. His beats consist of warm, twentieth-century referenced samples layered by the palette of his MPC.

Video uploaded by ProvacativeEducation ! (YouTube)

My favorite project from him so far, Blue World, is filled with those blissful and short sound sessions. His beats are sweet, melodic, and cut straight to the chase. No added synthesizers or templates were added to any of the tracks in there. In this project, Coryayo manages to adhere to the same formula, but with more evocation.

Pink Palace is colored by textures of enhanced chord play, crisp groove samples, and much more caressed instrumentation. This project feels more dedicated to a certain style of music pertaining to a specific era in American music history. The samples herald to Afrocentric-style synth chords and keys, added by the standard snares and drums by his prime caliber, his MPC. I was a little surprised to hear the deviation of all these tracks from his previous projects. His innate taste seemed to focus on more Jazz and Soul sounds, but this project is dedicated to the sounds that groups such as Parliament Funkadelic and Earth, Wind, and Fire have blessed the scene with.

There’s not much to say about this ten-track project, but that would account for all of his projects. There isn’t suppose to be much speculation from his works. Coryayo allows you to sit back and enjoy the present moments. Each track in this project reacher no further than two and a half minutes, with the exception of Make it Real and Pavement. Each track nods to the esoteric style of a short period in history. Neither is this trying to remake the glorious entrances that George Clinton or Roy Ayers would expect to make if they released new music.

In the description of this project in his Bandcamp page, Coryayo adds that he has more contributors to this project. With Bri Ariel contributing to vocals in two of the tracks, there are other instrumentalists who add their flare with the synthesizers and vocals within a couple of these tracks. It’s nice to see that Coryayo is now adding more perspectives into his music, which could be why this project sound so different from the rest of his material. With these vignettes, Coryayo is concentrating on finding the right tone or sound, anything to create a two-minute sensation that takes you away and lets you relax.

The surprise instantly appeared on the first track, Watch Your Step, where the track contains all the sounds standard sounds you’d expect from a Disco-era beat, concocted into one procession. All the dance chords, drum pads, and Funk samples are all there. One element that distinguishes this project from his previous works is the feature of singer Bri Ariel. Her voice comes into play in the track, Make It Real, which undulates smoothly along with the synthesizers and drum chords.

Pavement might be my favorite track on this project. It’s a nice closure to the album, which involves a spacy dance core with effervescing synth leads and electric keys that all wind down and ends with the sound of shore waves sloshing and frothing on the sand. That ten-second sound effect alone could personify the feeling of this album. Winding down and enjoying the moment.

Grade: 7/10





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