In a mass grave of all the high school drama, the cliques, the frantic ability to fit into a single mold, the Slow Hollows break formation to bring an incredibly deep sophomore release that has weight behind it. Atelophobiais the fear of being not good enough, which is where the “art school kids” in Slow Hollows storyline starts to take place. The expression that is drawn from the first moments shake the walls in a summer time drive of cascades and rises until the final climax.
With the hopeful instrumentation that layers behind the graceful sing-along vocals; there is something progressive to Slow Hollows. They are not the attacking force of punk rock, but not quite the sullen style of heartbroken rock, they lie somewhere where the basement house shows and the small stages of local clubs’ reign. A sound that is synonymous with the college and the reverb heavy touches of distortion.
Atelophobia has this overarching bedroom rock style that has a somewhat lo-fi quality and the ability to shift the mood into entirely different sections within the same track. “Dark Comedy” is in a way a rollercoaster as it has the rising action and falling wave, but the way that Slow Hollows can shape each into one path makes their sound act more as a journey. With vocalist and guitarist Austin Feinstein and other guitarist Dylan Thinnes, there is this motion that coincides between Bassist Jamie Atkinson and percussionist Nick Santana that forms the backing rhythm section that veers from the frontal work of the guitars. The forming string section takes the backbone of the bass and starts to twist it, almost contorting it to fit other sense and creating a flood of sound.
As Slow Hollows sound starts to become recognizable and the listener adapts to it, there is then the sudden switch up on the track “Condition” where everything becomes slowed and exaggerated. The snare and hi-hat have these quarter-note triplets that overtake the listener and force them to shake their head as they band synchs up together. It takes the band through a similar sound, but 180-degree flip into this unknown territory. The passion and emotional attachment that Slow Hollows shows behind their sound can be felt through each motion as the band plays together. Somehow there is this sound that feels familiar, but one that also takes motions and dives in multiple directions to create something fruitful.
On one of the stand out tracks “Nerves”, there is a destructive nature of being relinquishing towards the rule books and the barriers that are placed. “How does it feel to be alone every night?… How does it feel to be ashamed every time? I’m not trying to fight, I’m not trying to say one or the other. But it’s better this way, make it okay. So go along and break the rules, cause it’s easiest to say it’s true” Feinstein explains through a sunken sense of instrumentation and heartfelt performance.
Atelophobia has a passion behind it. The metric-ton of love, emotion, and ability behind the sophomore release still has a sense of beauty and authenticity. The way that Slow Hollows synch up and forms a true backbone behind one of the more gorgeous styles of sound is something that makes their second record feel special every time.
Through a gleaming gloss, Sudan Archives arrives with the second project being released under Stones Throw Records. It is a mix of plucking violin strings, a grinding motion of percussive instrumentals, and a silky voice to match; Sink is an 18-minute journey of clean production and heavenly style.
From the first moments of the clamoring chimes that suddenly transition to the shifting bass and warped sense of frame, Sudan Archives takes opens a solid tone that follows throughout the rest of Sink. The self-titled track holds a simplicity factor that makes it approachable as a first impression, but with the deeper layering of synth chords and the bass that eventually starts to flood the atmosphere; “Sink” becomes this opening of the glimmering gates.
“Don’t let me down, just let me drown” Archive explains through this reverbed, almost dream-state where the instrumentation starts to rise her voice up to the foreground. The spotlight and attention is on her voice as the incredibly crisp production starts to fade to the silence that transitions into the following track, “Nont For Sale”.
This is where Archives starts to showcase her ability to create these instrumentals with violins and use different experimentation behind the progression of her sound. In a continuous cycle, Sinkalways wraps around and follows in a pop heavy balance of approachable tracks that have some sort of variation to the mix. Whether changing the way her voice is manipulated to fit a broken mold, the way that the instrumentation flows in tandem to her style, or how Sink just simply rolls through in these quick motions. There is something special behind Sudan Archives’ Sink.
Shown well on the track, “Mind Control” where Archives takes a slowed, more relaxed and sensual approach to her vocals and instrumentation. The down-tempo production starts to reflect some of the more beautiful moments on Sink where the music is the main focus as the vocals start to act more as a background element. The shine is still present throughout Sink, but on “Mind Control” it is less focused and seems more of a simple melody that eventually swallows Archives in the final silence.
Sink is simply gorgeous at times, but it also has a short run time with six total tracks that definitely has some room for more content. It is a quick getaway from the barriers of standard sound and an experiment in creating a shifting background sound.
1999 on the brink of insanity; through the Y2K fog and soon terror attacks on America, there was a clairvoyance in a single poet’s voice. Mos Def was a rising power in hip-hop after his project with Talib Kweli on Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star just a year earlier. All eyes were starting to shift on Mos Def for his newest project that would use primarily live instrumentation and release some of the most recognizable tracks in history on a single project.
Black On Both Sides was a social commentary on the consciousness of an American moving through a solo debut-record release in a corporate world. It took the street-level approach with tracks “Hip Hop”, “Ms. Fat Booty” and “UMI Says” that felt instantly comfortable and a reflection of the variation that Mos Def contained. There was something that just clicked on each approaching track and something that really connected a common flow with each incoming movement. As Mos Def dances through the vibrations of boom-bap percussion of “Hip Hop”, or as he creates the chant behind the broken marry-go-round of “Speed Law”. Black On Both Sides holds this ever-pressing sensibility that can still touch into the influential and experimental in a modern age.
Mos Def uses an arrangement of synths, electronic keys, samples, percussion, and vocal overlays to deliver on “Got”. A conflicting track that has these dark valleys of robotic valves and synthetic openings, but also shows a lighter side on the chorus. “Don’t Get me, Don’t Get Me, Don’t Get-Ga-Get-Ga-Get Get Me” Mos Def cheerfully explains as the sunny chord progression reigns these rays of light onto the track. Mos Def then takes a quick nose dive into the darker style as he opens a more conscious level of delivery, describing, “Cause while the goods glisten, certain eyes take position. To observe your trickin’, then catch that ass slipping. Like, come on now ock, what you expect? Got a month’s paycheck danglin’ off your neck.” It feels real and personal coming from Mos Def as he then moves into the Stevie Wonder styled, “UMI Says”.
With an electronic keyboard playing the main melody, Def uses a soft-spoken voice to create the lyrical output that illustrates his flaws. “I ain’t no perfect man. I’m trying to do the best that I can, with what it is I have… I hope you feel me, from where I am to wherever you are. I mean that sincerely, tomorrow may never come,” as Mos Def sounds almost reminiscent and ultimately influential. It is one of the better musical displays on Black On Both Sides to the point that the musical progression can bring emotional outbursts in the form of tears.
On one of the most impactful moving parts of the record, Mos Def transitions into “Rock N Roll” which features a punk rock instrumental progression that catches the listener off-guard and throws them into a whirlwind of blitzing percussion and rummaging guitars. It is a sudden movement that punches through the hip-hop sound and completely throws Black On Both Sides through a period that is sublime, but also frantic.
The unexpected nature as the first track is more of a spoken word illustration of Mos Def as he explains his appreciation for black musicians in history before finally attacking with “You may dig on the Rolling Stones, but everything they did they stole. Elvis Presley ain’t got no soul, Bo Diddley is Rock N Roll.”
With an iconic cover art, a style that is even more revolutionary, and a lasting impression that spans over 17-total tracks, there is something special about Black On Both Sides. Something that reflects with the ear for hip-hop, the genre-morphing ability, and the love for music.
There has always been this strange fascination to the garage, almost house-rock styling of bands that gravitated toward the 1960’s harmonies and even surf style. It was something that captured in an essence, a separate time period where the beginning stages of punk rock were starting to form. Habibi cements themselves in this element as a group that feels unique with a focus on creating multiple levels of genre-blending rock into one uniformed package.
Much of the attraction to Habibi is the desert rock that sends the listener into a trance with the primarily upbeat tempos but string sections that reflect some of the sounds of the 1960’s. At times, Habibi is indescribable on their self-titled record where the band unleashes a new wave of dance heavy, movement inducing flow on the opening track, “Far From Right”.
Habibi is gentle in the approach, but eventually starts to cut loose with these percussion splashes that completely resemble one of the greatest ensembles that never was in the age of 1970’s kraut rock. Then with the marching instrumentation that follows as the soft, never-overpowering vocal aspect; there is this two-sided door that Habibi inhabits. At one section, they are stomping along in these neatly cut numbers that are catchy through the instrumentation and overall presentation of the sound. Then as Habibi starts to include the vocalization, it is graceful and has this lo-fi spirit that floats above the instrumentation to capture some beautifully written tracks.
Habibi feels care free as “I Got The Moves” duck walks into frame with the shortest, but one of the more headstrong senses of performance from the band. It features a chorus that uses each member to shout “Hey-Hey-Hey” in various pitches while the guitars and bass bounce around on the fret board in this party-starting display. “I Got The Moves” is one of the more fun tracks on Habibi where the sound cuts loose and can really showcase this more grand level of fun that Habibi can introduce with each track.
As they switch the styles up again and again, Habibi continually is able to provide a solid grasp of musical vigor that breathes new life again and again. There is this love that Habibi has in their sound that really captures the listener, taking them into an 11-level layer of genre-moving entertainment.
Even as they begin to hit some of the lower points of the album, like “Sunsets”, “She Comes Along”, or even the final track, “Wrong To The Right People”, there is this sense of slow, but deserved beauty. The tracks are more melodic and focused on creating these atmospheric blares where the movement instead is pushed onto each instrument and individual member. In most cases, Habibi hunkers down and makes an old sound with a modern swing.
The style that makes a continuous appearance and tries to affirm itself is Habibi’s best weapon. Their garage influence and always adapting style makes their debut self-titled record one of the more progressive in a sea of sound.
Listen/Watch Here – Youtube
Production Company: Freenjoy
Executive Producer: Nathan Scherrer
Executive Producer: Jeff Kopchia
Producer: Tiffany Suh
Commissioner: Bryan Younce
DP: Bryant Jansen
Production Designer: Danielle Merendino
filmed by cranchyou
Listen/Watch Here // Youtube
TESTING COMPLETE… // Listen/Watch Here – Youtube